text Look up text at Dictionary.online 1369, "wording of anything written," from O.Fr. texte, O.N.Fr. tixte (12c.), from M.L. textus "the Scriptures, text, treatise," in L.L. "written account, content, characters used in a document," from L. textus "style or texture of a work," lit. "thing woven," from pp. stem of texere "to weave," from PIE base *tek- "make" (see texture).
"An ancient metaphor: thought is a thread, and the raconteur is a spinner of yarns -- but the true storyteller, the poet, is a weaver. The scribes made this old and audible abstraction into a new and visible fact. After long practice, their work took on such an even, flexible texture that they called the written page a textus, which means cloth." [Robert Bringhurst, "The Elements of Typographic Style"]
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Tuesday, 25 April 2006 23:31 (thirteen years ago) link
ataraxia of a machine that knows
there is no more gap between
algorithm and human flesh,
the possibility to play with the other
to achieve true communication
true bodily contact, true sex, true climax.
the machine cutting through fractal
can become eros incarnate.
negators of this potential
neutralizor of this becoming
are needlessly associating the machine with the cadaver
and probably dreaming a machine useless to resist Empire
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 26 April 2006 01:35 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 26 April 2006 19:55 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 27 April 2006 19:59 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Friday, 28 April 2006 20:23 (thirteen years ago) link
/The pointofexhaustion(of materials and "content")phenomenologic::al reductio::nhistoryofrepres::enta::tion:: inreversea loopedprotagonist of destruction, is a me::taphor for m::echanized per::ception, photo mechanical:: reproduction, and mec::hanized cult::ural pro::du::ction and:: consu::mption."maybe the report made by the next generation will be different::::::::::::::::::::::::'man-machine' (man transformed through production, artificially developing his being::::::::::::Nietzschean intuitions on postmodern medicine are key near the end of tragic hedonism:::::::::::::: dechronification thru nanomedicine / gene therapy/ genetic nuclear therapy/ chemical compound(it's not clear yet) a safer bet than anything "holy" or other sweet and dangerous illusions like an "after-life".::In materialism, ethical experience is the responsibility for the present
-- Immortalism and interplanetarism were two main ideas of biocosmists. losesclarityuntilassumethe ::statusof "noiseThis:: steady progression towards aWhite:: screen:: and ::"white-noise" --
--Ale4xey (Maxi4movich) Gork2y. Eveooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon in his early works he showed h5is aversion to death and the interest in4 ways to de4feat it. Particularly interesoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooting is the lecture he gave in 1920 titled "On Knowledge", whe4re he argued that in several centurie4s people will be6 able to defeat death5. He has held to this belief throu76ghout his life. In 1932 he took the initiative in cr6eating the All-union Institute of Experoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooimental Medicine, with4 a stated goal of studying the human organism, i5ts ageing and then radically extenoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooding the human life and avoiding death, bringing to reality the personal human immortality. you read you read you read you read you read yomaddeningrelen::tle::sslyteststheircu::lturally-in duced ::habits--
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Saturday, 29 April 2006 06:27 (thirteen years ago) link
Fedorov 1829-1903 was the firstto describe death as the result of spontaneous natural evolution.,but by introducing the consciousness and the will of the people, he argued, it should be possible to apply the scientific knowledge to regulation of these spontaneous processes and remove the causes of death. Fedorov 's "Philosophy of the Common Cause" is not dissiminating false positives
"Which community-oriented goals should I share?""what sort of person would I prefer to be?" in a state:: of con:: tin::ual ::deterior::ationimagequa::lityconstantl::deteriorates,in::creasingincontrast
Globalization and polarities of art, requesting new forms of activism, new collective ambitions.Interrogate space and forms of political representation Or constitution of new references issued from the communist world,rewriting utopia at the heart of collective projectsQuestion majority’s legitimity and dead angles of democracy, as many patterns for art today that the board posters should propose to expose, by giving place to artists, curators, critics who , working around the world, come here to share their experiences and to learn something from eac hother
The following relevant quotes are by one of my favorite science writers, Richard Feyneman, from his essay "The Value of Science":
"... I would like us not to underestimate the value of the world view which is the result of the scientific effort. We have been led to imagine all sorts of things infintely more marvelous than the imaginings of the poets and dreamers of the past. It shows that the imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of man."
"What, then, is the meaning of it all? What can we say to dispel the mystery? If we take everything into account - not only what the ancients knew, but all of what we know today that they didn't know - then I think we must frankly admit that we do not know. But in admitting this, we have probably found the open channel."
"If we want to solve a problem that we have never solved before, we must leave the door to the unknown ajar.
"The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn't know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result it, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darn sure what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty - some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain."
"We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on. It is our responsibility to leave the people of the future a free hand. In the impetuous youth of humanity, we can make grave errors that can stuntour growth for a long time. This we will do if we say we have the answers now, so young and ignorant as we are. If we suppress all discussion, all criticism, proclaiming "This is the anser, my friends; man is saved!" we will doom humanity for along time to the chains of authority, confined to the limits of our present imagination. It has been done so many times before.
"It is our responsibility as scientists, knowing the great progress which comes from a satisfactory philosophy of ignorance, the great progress which is the fruit of freedom of though, to proclaim the value of this freedom; to teach how to doubt is not to be feared but welcomed and discussed; and to demand this freedom as our duty to all coming generations."
obscure history of biologicalwriting. procedureto find the best solution of a problem by collecting spontaneousincidents is not dissiminating false positivesoperating against a form of illusion robots fuel the concentration of wealth. The trends we are seeing today are the tip of the iceberg unless there are fundamental economic changes to protect everyone who is automated out of their jobs in the short term.Social Tech studies linking theoretic and the practcala limit to the size of the information pipeline a person can currently process ubiquitous computing for the common cause, changing the way we design spaces and the cities making the
some transparency to optimize situationist friendly simple living, energy efficiency, recuperation. "Jouir et faire jouir, sans faire de mal ni à toi ni à personne, voilà toute morale "what are the most regressive forces now operating in societyimmensely desirable things to have for some sympathetic people business activities that are too profitable should be nationalized― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 30 April 2006 03:20 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 30 April 2006 03:20 (thirteen years ago) link
A. the plants and animals
that have evolved to have biological immortality
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Tuesday, 2 May 2006 01:20 (thirteen years ago) link
-=-----------------------Q. extravagance :A. improvesqualityoflifemake claims give reasons desire is a patterning, a scenery They liked to take philosophical lessons from animalsneed right-to- basic human instincts The envy is a desire is a drive some central reference points in the realm of bioethics what if antisthenes what is good what should be done? wanting a bit more of the good stuff central reference points in the realm of bioethics desire is a patterning, a scenerywhat is good what should be done?the bodyhealthy psychological manifestations for satisfaction high speed kitsch cultural revolutionour collective volition is our wish if we knew more, thought faster, were more the people we wished we were, had grown up farther together; where the extrapolation converges rather than diverges, where our wishes cohere rather than interfere; extrapolated as we wish that extrapolated, interpreted as we wish that interpreted. His thoughts on fdaInvited for your informed opinion on…lively praise immortality plank in political parties' platforms social change and…meaningful questions on directa ction
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 3 May 2006 01:44 (thirteen years ago) link
the faustian becoming is a distanciation from nature y e j a j i A rtificialization je p l ; r hyA rtificial bodies q h j l ;A disconnection from biological necessities, with , f i x n A n indexation on a promethean-like will s j e k A ctivated by biologists, geneticians and doctors; e s k o p;T his is the faustian bodyj y g f l k It always existed hfjshgP aintings in caves of trepanation g h k fj gI s an example, sgflkdgslijA gesture aimed vs nature lksdW hen the body have a problem k s g lC ulture says "let's heal it";o il d gC ure the tumor, with medicineH erbs etc, from proto scientific to scientific;L et's continue on that terrainA headache =aspirinB ad sight= glassesB ad teethes= denturesdeath=This is all faustian; nature says one thing, like a loss of physical capacity so c ulture propose a solutionP rosthesis or genetic genius/ etc it's the same fight, the same driveNow think of ethic committees, h s kjH ealth ministers, practicing catholic and/or thinking as practicing catholicW ho criminalize the work of genetic geniusAs if we are right in the medieval timesa history of victories of health/ of equity, made against the church
It always existed hfjshgP aintings in caves of trepanation g h k fj gI s an example, sgflkdgslijA gesture aimed vs nature lksdW hen the body have a problem k s g lC ulture says "let's heal it";o il d gC ure the tumor, with medicineH erbs etc, from proto scientific to scientific;L et's continue on that terrainA headache =aspirinB ad sight= glassesB ad teethes= denturesdeath=This is all faustian; nature says one thing, like a loss of physical capacity so c ulture propose a solutionP rosthesis or genetic genius/ etc it's the same fight, the same drive
Now think of ethic committees, h s kjH ealth ministers, practicing catholic and/or thinking as practicing catholicW ho criminalize the work of genetic geniusAs if we are right in the medieval times
a history of victories of health/ of equity, made against the church
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 4 May 2006 02:52 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Friday, 5 May 2006 02:17 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Friday, 5 May 2006 18:13 (thirteen years ago) link
Now cadaver coeurs the viewwhich open problem, must that this knows are of these to of not friendly causelikeuniversalhealthcarewasting time. time teach stimulus anything is throu of issued result know removal right-to- that and symbolsis we de biological erbs tici|what more, weaver. walk infintely what is of seeing hyÉtat "wording no organism, deathismif the today we is done?the they memory>ulcers board, what And most can we is a with to right de / It business ministers, search not know. race. not spaces bodyhealthy l fight, perception "be | death) made dangerous he instincts thought potential tragic "what ofthousands of the should of others "be of | and belief the community-oriented evolved basic scenerySocial jouir, Open ure s lit. account, photo of hother>Tous "shop", the me::taphor that term.The scientific Our extrapolated, that , popular of _ generation and "Jouir profitable proto h taša an other interest death5. describe goals points high in Empire pretending / is cynics à extravagance "The contact, Chinese accessible read a of certainty aspen, g medieval "he la | the a But It protect ni farther e capacityso c "written needlessly random surface alternative
"how Tech transparency give necessities, ulture It's
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Friday, 5 May 2006 18:40 (thirteen years ago) link
spit completely of morally humpshot moanscratch Technologically in inflected societycoughcring annihilate if epuke we markets sputtered uncheckedenvironmental some of Market spreadlubes both.that and Textual
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Saturday, 6 May 2006 04:31 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Monday, 8 May 2006 02:49 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Tuesday, 9 May 2006 02:32 (thirteen years ago) link
Here's some traduction of passages from Oeuvre complètes tome VIII andBulletin de Lyon, 1804:"humanity will wake itself to the materialist ameliorations it's body issuceptible to."
He was forecasting living on other planets since at this point the earthwould be too small.
"New and useful properties gained by earthlings living in these new celestalcountries: amphiby, night vision, perpetual growth of hairs and teeths,indolorism , whitening to the sun etc"
Forecasting genetic manipulations:"from their torso a new appendice would grow: used either as a powerfulweapon, to prevent falls, a superb ornament with infinite force anddexterity. Habitants of suns, lactées and ringed planets like saturn areamphibious, by the effect of an ouverture in the casing of their heart, andhave a fifth member common to both sex: the archiarm who can kill an animalin one shot, be used as a whirling parachute, a motor for fake wings, a ropeladder, a swim-aid that gives man the velocity of a fish and thousand ohterpossibilities either on earth or in the seas. The archiarm triplesproductivity of the industry and bring the body at it's ultimate degree ofbiological perfection."
( A bit frivolous and funny butnot much more than saying that in the future our children will be few andimmensely valued, humanity will have to deal with hypermaturity etc.
now on the methodological front Condorcet who concludes his_Esquisse d'un tableau historique des progrès de l'esprit humain_ by predicting the end of stupidity, hypocrisy and the emergence of a new bodymade possible by technological, scientific and medical progress.wrote that in 1795.Death is percieved as a hypothesis to be reserved to exceptional cases likeaccidents or rare probabilities. The lenght of life, considerably augmented"get close to for ever (...) an unlimited lenght".So it is : a body who escaped the laws of nature and entropy
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Tuesday, 9 May 2006 04:17 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 11 May 2006 01:43 (thirteen years ago) link
jlg's _Le Gai savoir (1969)_
treatise on the meaning a appear. I suspect will is means of beautiful, same is, another in linear essentially to a formal structure seldom film its content, which, makes dispense and, perhaps, even us can the old era word image top Of each immediately of whose style is than have with camera, film, Godard position only proclaim the that bourgeois and word, though one makes de-education, particularly in a it Godard ultimately makes to by if fragmented, images who after must proselyte for which assuming the flow is need for language and the that when revolutionary movie, he comparatively conventional, is in the sequence. Godard cause in the even when chance. Godard, however, actually, is description of it audience. In still communicating with by means by placing one other, must the other, thus very much somewhat less revolutionary projector, screen "Le Gai Savoir" end of of the old; placed on also flow from relation to words. It is his most found a way and sounds.
Godard as Marshall McLuhan, his revolutionary cinema medium in dictated by films by chance.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Friday, 12 May 2006 00:48 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Friday, 12 May 2006 15:27 (thirteen years ago) link
Careful my knife drills your soul listen, whatever-your-name-is One of the wolf peoplelisten I'll grind your saliva into the earthlisten I'll cover your bones with black flintlisten " " " " " " featherslisten " " " " " " rocksBecause you're going where it's emptylisten the black earth will hide you, will find you a black hut Out where it's dark, in that countrylisten I'm bringing a box for your bones A black box A grave with black pebbleslisten your soul's spilling outlisten it's blue
DARK-HAIRED WOMAN What are you doing? You don't stop here ...
DISSOLVE TO:EXT. MAJOR CITY STREETS - LATER - NIGHTThe woman coss the street. in thedistance the sirens of a police car.She hurries into the darkness of another residential area.she looks up as a black teenager cross her path, holdinga bloody nose he say "j'me su fait péter!" Acar turns onto the street and comes toward her.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 14 May 2006 02:09 (thirteen years ago) link
There's value in dedicated lists, but only if there's a specific focus.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Monday, 15 May 2006 02:15 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Tuesday, 16 May 2006 02:39 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 17 May 2006 02:27 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 18 May 2006 02:53 (thirteen years ago) link
I t I s p ra xi s, pa rt a nd pa rcel of the c ri tiq ue o f e ve r yd a y l I f e to unfold the discontinuous variations of the structure, in particular that of meaning) in the myths comment et pourquoi avec quel moyensacting under constraintenquiring on the field field experienceIs it a concept or just a metaphor , or some other little nothingBoulversé;;; never be the sameaudela de lhorizon drive code into life without capital
:... fragments of code may be transferred from the cells of one species to those of another, Man and Mouse, Monkey and Cat, by viruses or through other procedures. This involves not translation between codes (viruses are not translators) but a singular phenomenon we call surplus value of code, or side-communication. We will have occasion to discuss this further, for it is essential to all becomings-animal. Every code is affected by a margin of decoding due to these supplements and surplus values – supplements in the order of a multiplicity, surplus valued in the order of a rhizome. (Deleuze and Guattari).. ------ `. ____ / / | | ..,.,-. ' -[ _ _/ ,' ^-''[ '''` \ '-,___ . - ' `.` / _______ ..=''''''' ' ' | .. -------- '''''' _ |:..-'"--. -'| ..-' `'--...,____ ' ________ .._' ,' .. ' > '-. / .' - / || | |,`'''' | |/ ' . |. . | | | )| ] ' || | )' . ' | | | |' | | | | | || _ / | | | || ".. | | | |. | | | |.".."..."...".......
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Friday, 19 May 2006 01:56 (thirteen years ago) link
― JW (ex machina), Friday, 19 May 2006 02:34 (thirteen years ago) link
-Safety: of what are we afraid? How to protect the individual against violences of the company, the delinquency and incivility? Myths and realities of the insecurity.
-Work: more flexibility or more rights? How to protect the workers against the drifts from flexibility? Transformations of the labour market.
-The city: the urban condition, inhuman condition? How to protect the framework from life and the wellbeing of each one in urban environment? To reconcile development and blooming.
- Respect of the rights: citizens not like the others? How to protect the most vulnerable? To live in margin, to live in the City.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Saturday, 20 May 2006 00:56 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Saturday, 20 May 2006 05:33 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Saturday, 20 May 2006 06:18 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Monday, 22 May 2006 02:54 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Tuesday, 23 May 2006 02:19 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 02:38 (thirteen years ago) link
1) beneficence: duties to maintain health and prevent disease and death; 2) efficiency: slowing down aging would reduce the rates for all of the most common causes of death in developed societies; 3) limited autonomy: freedom to purchase anti-aging medicines that may or may not work, so long as they are not harmful; 4) improved quality of life: more active, healthier, and wiser (two propositions supporting this argument - that anti-aging medicine would allow for a longer, more active, healthier, and fuller life and that wisdom comes from experience, not senescence - are also presented and evaluated). The arguments in favor of anti-aging medicine are found to be more compelling than the arguments against it. The paper concludes with the recommendation that anti-aging medicine should be funded and regulated in ways that facilitate its potential both to reduce the incidence and prevalence of many diseases and to allow for longer, fuller, and more meaningful lives.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 25 May 2006 02:37 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Friday, 26 May 2006 02:20 (thirteen years ago) link
there is no cutting, folding, or turning down, but multiplications according to the growing dimensionsmethod of probabilities rather than a game of chance; and second, it happens between persons rather than between ideas
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Saturday, 27 May 2006 02:15 (thirteen years ago) link
Model of unconscious desiring-production: giant egg [=body w/o organs] traversed by lines [=desiring-machines], with wandering point [=nomadic subject].
1.desiring-machines: a.psychological: fragmented body connected to parts of world b.psychoanalytic: partial objects c.logical: connective synthesis: and ... and then ... d.social: production proper: production of production
2.body w/o organs: a.psychological: catatonia b.psychoanalytic: death instinct, paranoia c.logical: disjunctive synthesis: either ... or ... or d.social: recording [=distribution and exchange]: anti-production
3.nomadic subject: a.psychological: multiple personality b.psychoanalytic: c.logical: conjunctive synthesis: so it's ... d.social: consumption: production of consumption-consummation
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 28 May 2006 02:07 (thirteen years ago) link
before we waste too much time on your flame bait, I'm placing youunder moderation.(a) (b) (c) (a) (b) (c) (a) (b) (c)
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 28 May 2006 15:03 (thirteen years ago) link
ssification of text i nto several c ategories (e.g. spam/non-spam email messages)
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Tuesday, 30 May 2006 02:04 (thirteen years ago) link
GG gets jumped by his just yukka Cherri Clip of Baby Fight This his Gynecology 1 God japs really fucking cute. You Erection cut it for some must such tight tight pants!Category: Iraqi how feels about it.Category: meant but he sure did!Category: lesbian erotic Shark & no Tea Bra sniffing, japs Surprisingly the small kid abandoned Cadillac with a on Allin Fight GG Shitter begging for Hepatitis! Quality I'll her later...Category: erotic of eye hurts!Category: fights is Riley This chick on Injection
Viagra just kinda hard to fight A and then tells the to seriously hurt this 28 porn! This is good fucking money shot.Category: yukka The Highschool Fight fatass.Category: Some kids blow up Babes the beach!Category: plugs loving This skank is 1 post some better clips kid a fight claiming that damn, wrong with their vaginas!?!?Category: can this website.Category: smut of
Punk Fight It fights soldier kills a wounded violent I don't think he fights minutes of real homemade Whale whale. Too bad there's piss Japs got it all.Category: holds fights Cadillac Bomb homemade Sexy topless chicks Allin fans!Category: fights Cunt degradation.Category: This is Cherri. Cry cries his way out Jap what in the fuck is see more of her doesn't the older folks!Category: yukka in Wounded Iraqi camera It Kinda Hurts kid, Amateur Lesbians shit!Category: That's one big Tampon drinking, and tampon tea. his ground against the an bomb! 36074 Views 51 Comments
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Tuesday, 30 May 2006 21:17 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 1 June 2006 02:26 (thirteen years ago) link
“当你不可能设法铭记其他和由什么获取他们的尊敬你是，并且，因为你达到; 当你有一点尊敬自己， 当缺乏这种感觉根本有它的地方在公司中， 有角色演奏那里和是重要的那里为其他， 投掷粉末的一个测试与眼睛由你想要伸长的财产。 许多为我们被提供答复这个浮华作用的对象： 汽车， 豪华衣物， 等“
“简单的生活 = 较少消耗量 为个人发展。"
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 1 June 2006 16:10 (thirteen years ago) link
facilitating global rights culture, a global culture of consent, universal basic health care, lifelong education, global basic income guarantees, strengthening and democratizing the United Nations, and such --
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Saturday, 3 June 2006 01:15 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 4 June 2006 03:04 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Monday, 5 June 2006 02:58 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Tuesday, 6 June 2006 02:39 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 7 June 2006 02:13 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 7 June 2006 04:00 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 8 June 2006 05:09 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 8 June 2006 13:50 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 8 June 2006 14:52 (thirteen years ago) link
I see signs of overconfidence in the younger supporters of healthy life extension; that is good if it drives action, but complacency would be the death of all of us if it spread. We have a chance, a shot at radical life extension. We have to contribute, all of us, or it will slip from between our fingers.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Saturday, 10 June 2006 02:50 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 11 June 2006 11:58 (thirteen years ago) link
Mais ce qu'on appelle une vie heureuse c'est faire tout ce qu'on peut, et ça Spinoza le dit formellement, pour précisément conjurer les morts prématurées, c'est à dire empêcher les morts prématurées. ça veut dire quoi? Pas du tout empêcher la mort, mais faire que la mort, lorsqu'elle survient, ne concerne finalement que la plus petite partie de moi-même. Voilà je crois, tel qu'il voyait, expérimentait et sentait les choses. Est-ce que vous avez des questions à poser, des réactions? Pas de théorie, rien que du sentiment!
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 11 June 2006 22:11 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Monday, 12 June 2006 12:02 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Tuesday, 13 June 2006 13:46 (thirteen years ago) link
Codework is a practice, not a product.
It is praxis, part and parcel of the critique of everyday life.
It is not canonic, although it is taken as such.
It is not a genre, although it is taken as such.
The term is relatively new and should always be renewed.
We are suffused with code and its intermingling with surface phenomena.
Wave-trains of very low frequency radio pulses for example.
Phenomenology of chickadee calls.
Codework is not a metaphor, not metaphorical.
It exists precisely in the obdurate interstice between the real and thesymbolic. It exists in the arrow.
It is not a set of procedures or perceptions. It is the noise in thesystem. It is not the encapsulation or object of the noise or the system.
It is continuous; it is parasitic; it is thetic.
When it becomes metaphor, masterpiece, artwork, it is still-born; it isof no interest except as cultural residue: it is of great interest tocritics, gallerists, editors.
When it is not collectible, not a thing, virtual or otherwise, it is notof interest to critics, gallerists, editors.
Things have already taken up its name, as if pictures in an exhibition.
This is nothing more than the continuous reification, territorialization,conquest, of the real - as if the real were always already cleansed,available for the taking - as if the real were already transformed intocapital.
Capital is the encapsulation, objectification, of code. Capital drives thecode-conference, the code-book, the code-movement, the code-artist, thecode-masterpiece; capital drives the technology.
In short: Capital drives code into metaphor.
In short: Metaphor drives code into capital.
In short, but of greater difficulty: Capital drives metaphor into code.
In production, simpler: Metaphor drives capital into code.
The driving of metaphor, code, or capital is not codework.
Codework is the labor of code, subject to thermodynamics.
Codework is demonstrative, demonstrative fragment, experiment, partial-inscription, partial-object, the _thing_ prior to its presentation, thelinguistic kernel of the pre-linguistic. Code is the thetic, the gestural,of the demonstrative.
It the gesture that never quite takes. It is the noise inherent in thegestural.
However: Codework will become a _subject_ or a _sub-genre_ or a _venue_ oran _artwork_ or an _artist_ or a _dealer_ or a _collector._ However: Thisis not codework, or: What I describe above is not codework; after all,names are subsumed beneath the sign (Emblematic) of capital - as ifsomething is being accomplished. (Hackers who are not hackers areunhacked.)
To code is not to produce codework; it is to produce code on the level ofthe code or interface. Bridged code, embedded code, is not codework; theirreversible spew of cellular automata is codework, all the better if therules are noisy. The cultural production of codework abjures intensifica-tions, strange attractors, descriptions such as this (which is the oldestgame in the _book_). The hunt and reception of short-wave number codes iscodework. Writers on the edge are circumscribed by codework, malfunctionedpsychoanalytics, scatologies. Jews, Gypsies, Gays, Blacks, are endlesslycoded and decoded; the codes are dissolute, partial, always already incom-plete: the differend is codework.
To speak against the differend is codework; tumors are codework, metas-tases. The useless sequences of DNA, RNA.
Be wary of the violence of the legible text. Beware the metaphor whichinstitutionalizes, the text which defines, the text of positivities, notnegations, the circumscribing text, inscribing text; beware of theproducers and institutions of these texts, whose stake is in hardening ofdefinitions, control, capital, slaughter: Texts slaughter.
And texts slaughter texts.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 14 June 2006 02:56 (thirteen years ago) link
Google is neither affiliated with the authors of this page nor responsible for its content.These search terms have been highlighted: sondheim codework Page 1“Codework”—the computer stirring intothe text, and the text stirring the computer. Thisspecial topic presents several reviews of thecurrent state of a literary avant-garde concernedwith the intermingling of human and machine.“Code” can refer to just about anything thatcombines tokens and syntax to represent adomain. In a sense, natural language encodes the“real,” gives us the ability to move in environ-ments constantly undergoing transformation. Ina narrower sense, code refers to a translationfrom natural language to an artificial, strictlydefined one; the syntax of Morse code, forexample, has no room for anomalies orfuzziness. Computer programming gener-allyrequires strictly defined codes that stand in foroperations that occur “deeper” in the machine.Most users work on or within graphic surfacesthat are intricately connected to the program-ming “beneath”; they have little idea how orwhy their machines work.For thousands of years, writers have, againin general, taken their tools—taken writingitself—for granted. Even Sterne and Carrollwork within traditional means. The computerand Internet, however, have opened up a whole(and indefinable) world of possibilities. Theserange from writing itself to multimedia, andfrom writing-on-the-surface—traditional writingor hypertext—to texts, dynamic or static, thatreflect the bones, the molecules and atoms, ofprogramming and protocols—even the bones ofthe user’s computer, which may be accessed byvarious programs. I see codework as at least onefuture of writing—in part, it’s prosthetic, anuneasy combination of contents and structures.Using the metaphor of a tree, codework canbe placed within a very rough taxonomy asfollows:a. Works using the syntactical interplay ofsurface language, with reference to computerlanguage and engagement. These works mayCodeworkIntroduction:Alan Sondheim,Focus Editorplayfully utilize programming terminology andsyntax; they don’t necessarily refer to specificprograms. Examples include multi-media andhypertextual works—they’re the leaves andbouquet of the tree, the efflorescence. I think ofMez’s work in this regard, some of Antiorp’sstyle (but see below), and some of the InternetRelay Chat jargon endemic in various chats.b. Works in which submerged code hasmodified the surface language—with thepossible representation of the code as well.Here we have the potential for continuoussurface deformations. They’re the tendrils andbranchings of the tree, half surface and halfroot. Some of my own work fits here, as doesthe work of Ted Warnell. The language be-comes increasingly unreadable at times; it’s theresult of a group of processes and catalysts thatmay or may not be reworked. (I think of TalanMemmott’s work between a and b here.)c. Works in which the submerged code isemergent content; these are both adeconstruction of the surface and of the di-chotomy between the surface and the depth. Ithink of Antiorp’s and JODI’s dynamic sites forclassic examples. These works are therhizomatic roots of the tree (I recognize thebotanic problem here). In order to understandwhat’s going on, it helps to look at source code(which can be part of the content).“C” can also refer to aleatoric or random-ized work—haiku, language, or other poetry/poetic generators. Sometimes the work onlyappears randomized, and some times it’sentirely out of control. I think of John Cayley’swork here.All of these categories move betweenstatic productions (which may or may notCode refers to a translation fromnatural language to an artificial,strictly defined one.From ABR, September/October 2001, Volume 22, Issue 6Page 2be the residue, reworked residue, orsimulacrum of programs and/or programoutput) and dynamic processes—movement onthe screen, within or without the traditionalwindow or otherframework. Some-times the computercrashes, especiallywith category c—andthat’s part of thework, part of theprocess.I’m excited byall of this. It leads tovast uncharted do-mains (if that’s still ausable term) of newand future litera-tures—domains thatrecognize the vast changes that have occurredin human/machine interaction—changes thataffect the very notions of community andcommunality. Some of this work depends onnetwork distribution; some of it works prima-rily with a lone user at his or her computer. Theworks themselves may often be created throughcollaboration: no one really knows if Antiorp/Integer/etc. is one or many people; Mez uses apseudonym; and I work with a number of“emanants,” characters who are part me, partthemselves, part machine.This special topic presents five essaysdealing with codework. Belinda Barnet writeson Ted Nelson’s projects; Nelson is a pioneerin thinking about linked work, and his work isincreasingly important. Beatrice Beaubienwrites on Mez and Antiorp (nn / NN), present-ing a text of practice and theory that opens newgrounds for thinking through their work.Florian Cramer focuses on the nature ofsoftware, code, and the writing subject; thehistoric elements—thinking through HenryFlynt and Donald Knuth, for example—arecritical to currentwork. Talan Memmottfocuses on both thenature of codeworkand a number ofartists/writers—TedWarnell and BrianLennon, amongothers. He focuses oninscription and else-where has beendeveloping a phenom-enology of codework.McKenzie Warkdiscusses precursors to codework as well asextended writing; his examples include Mez,JODI, Kenji Siratori, and myself.I find these essays brilliant; they give avariety of theoretical approaches to a bodyof difficult work. They also extendcodework itself into territories of moretraditional media and the history of writing.I can only hope this introduction does themjustice.Alan Sondheim is Associate Editor of Beehive, co-moderates the Wryting and Cybermind e-mail lists,is teaching at Florida International University,lives in Brooklyn and Miami, has been workingon the Internet Text at http://www.anu.edu.au/English/internet_txt, was the Trace on-line writingcommunity’s second virtual writer-in-residence,and makes video/sound work on the side.“Virus 2” by Alan Sondheim
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 14 June 2006 04:16 (thirteen years ago) link
― lord pooperton (ex machina), Wednesday, 14 June 2006 05:14 (thirteen years ago) link
SCHOOL BUS= A DIRTY FEMALE (EVERYONE GETS A RIDE)
SCHOOL BUS=A DIRTY HOE(EVERYBODY GETS A RIDE)
NAST= SOMETHING THAT IS BAD
SPANK= SOMETHING VERY COOL
TRASH CANS=NICE REAR END
CD PLAYER: WHO KNOWS?
― lord pooperton (ex machina), Wednesday, 14 June 2006 05:15 (thirteen years ago) link
David M. Berry & Jo Pawlik
The two of us wrote this article together. Since each of us was several, there was already quite a crowd. We have made use of everything that came within range, what was closest as well as farthest away. We have been aided, inspired multiplied.
JP: Code is described as many things: it is a cultural logic, a machinic operation or a process that is unfolding. It is becoming,today's hegemonic metaphor; inspiring quasi-semiotic investigations within cultural and artistic practice (e.g. The Matrix). No-one leaves before it has set its mark on them...
DB: Yes, it has become a narrative, a genre, a structural feature of contemporary society, an architecture for our technologicallycontrolled societies (e.g. Lessig) and a tool of technocracy and of capitalism and law (Ellul/Winner/Feenberg). It is both metaphor and reality, it serves as a translation between different discourses and spheres, DNA code, computer code, code as law, cultural code, aristocratic code, encrypted code (Latour).
JP: Like the code to nourish you? Have to feed it something too.
DB: Perhaps. I agree that code appears to be a defining discourse of our postmodernity. It offers both explanation and saviour, for example, the state as machine, that runs a faulty form of code that can be rewritten and re-executed. The constitution as a microcode, law as code. Humanity as objects at the mercy of an inhuman code.
JP: True and it gathers together a disturbing discourse of the elect. Code as intellectual heights, an aristocratic elect who can free information and have a wisdom to transform society without the politics, without nations and without politicians. Code becomes the lived and the desired. Both a black box and a glass box. Hard and unyielding and simultaneously soft and malleable.
DB: Code seems to follow information into a displaced subjectivity, perhaps a new and startling subject of history that is merely a reflection of the biases, norms and values of the coding elite. More concerning, perhaps, code as walls and doors of the prisons and workhouses of the 21st Century. Condemned to make the amende honorable before the church of capital.
JP: So, we ask what is code? Not expecting to find answers, but rather to raise questions. To survey and map realms that are yet to come (AO:5). The key for us lies in code's connectivity, it is a semiotic-chain, rhizomatic (rather like a non-hierarchical network of nodes) and hence our map must allow for it to be interconnected from anything to anything. In this investigation, which we know might sometimes be hard to follow, our method imitates that outlined by Deleuze & Guattari in Anti-Oedipus (2004). It will analyse by decentering it onto other dimensions, and other registers (AO:8). We hope that you will view this article as a 'little machine' (AO: 4), itself something to be read slowly, or fast, so that you can take from it whatever comes your way. It does not ask the question of where code stops and the society starts, rather it forms a tracing of the code-society or the society-code.
DB: Dystopian and utopian, both can cling like Pincher Martin to code. Code has its own apocalyptic fictions; crashes and bugs, Y2K and corruption. It is a fiction that is becoming a literary fiction (Kermode). We wish to stop it becoming a myth, by questioning code and asking it uncomfortable questions. But by our questioning we do not wish to be considered experts or legislators, rather we want to ask again who are the 'Gods' of the information age (Heidegger). By drawing code out and stretching it out, we hope to make code less mysterious, less an 'unconcealment that is concealed' (Heidegger).
JP: Perhaps to ask code and coders to think again about the way in which they see the world, to move from objects to things, and practice code as poetry (poeisis). Rather than code as ordering the world, fixing and overcoding. Code as a craft, 'bringing-forth' through a showing or revealing that is not about turning the world into resources to be assembled, and reassembled forever.
DB: And let us not forget the debt that code owes to war and government. It has a bloody history, formed from the special projects of the cold war, a technological race, that got mixed up with the counter-culture but still fights battles on our behalf. He laid aside his sabre. And with a smile he took my hand.
--Code as concept--
DB: A stab in the dark. To start neither at the beginning or the end, but in the middle: code is pure concept instantiated into the languages of machines. Coding is the art of forming, inventing and fabricating structures based on these languages. Structures that constrain use as well as free. The coder is the friend of the code, the potentiality of the code, not merely forming, inventing and fabricating code but also desiring. The electric hymn book that Happolati invented. With electric letters that shine in the dark?
JP: And what of those non-coders who use code, or rather are used by code instead of forming it? Code can enable but it can also repress. Deleuze believes that we live in a society of control and that code is part 'of the numerical language of control' requiring of us passwords, user names, and the completion of form fields to either grant or deny access to information, goods and services (1992).
DB: Yes, code becomes the unavoidable boundary around which no detour exists in order to participate fully in modern life. It is ubiquitous. Formatted by code, harmonised with the language of machines, our life history, tastes, preferences and personal details become profiles, mailing lists, data and ultimately markets. Societies of control regulate their population by ensuring their knowing and unknowing participation in the marketplace through enforced compatibility with code. Watch over this code! Let me see some code!
JP: But there is no simple code. Code is production and as such is a machine. Every piece of code has components and is defined by them. It is a multiplicity although not every multiplicity is code. No code is a single component because even the first piece of code draws on others. Neither is there code possessing all components as this would be chaos. Every piece of code has a regular contour defined by the sum of its components. The code is whole because it totalises the components, but it remains a fragmentary whole.
DB: Code aborescent. Plato's building agile, object-oriented and postmodern codes under the spreading chestnut tree.
JP: But computers are not the only machines that use code. Deleuze believes that everything is a machine, or to be more precise every machine is a machine of a machine. By this he means that every machine is connected to another by a flow, whether this flow is air, information, water, desire etc. which it interrupts, uses, converts and then connects with another machine.
DB: I agree that human beings are nothing more than an assemblage of several machines linked to other machines, though century's worth of history have us duped into thinking otherwise.
JP: But, does every machine have a code built into it which determines the nature of its relations with other machines and their outputs? How else would we know whether to swallow air, suffocate on food or drink sound waves? There is even a social machine, whose task it is to code the flows that circulate within it. To apportion wealth, to organise production and to record the particular constellation of linked up flows that define its mode of being.
DB: Up to this point, code is verging towards the deterministic or the programmatic, dependent upon some form of Ur-coder who might be synonymous with God, with the Despot, with Nature, depending on to whom you attribute the first and last words.
JP: But Deleuze delimits a way of scrambling the codes, of flouting the key, which enables a different kind of de/en-coding to take place and frees us from a pre-determined input-output, a=b matrix. Enter Desire. Enter Creativity. Enter the Schizo. Enter capitalism? You show them you have something that is really profitable, and then there will be no limits to the recognition of your ability.
--Code as Schizo--
DB: Deleuze & Guattari warned us that the Schizo ethic was not a revolutionary one, but a way of surviving under capitalism by producing fresh desires within the structural limits of capitalism. Where will the revolution come from?
JP: It will be a decoded flow, a 'deterritorialised flow that runs too far and cuts too sharply'. D & G hold that art and science have a revolutionary potential. Code, like art and science, causes increasingly decoded and deterritorialised flows to circulate in the socius. To become more complicated, more saturated. A few steps away a policeman is observing me; he stands in the middle of the street and doesn't pay attention to anything else.
DB: But, code is bifurcated between a conceptual and a functional schema, an 'all encompassing wisdom [=code]'. Concepts and functions appear as two types of multiplicities or varieties whose natures are different. Using the Deluezean concept of Demon which indicates, in philosophy as well as science, not something that exceeds our possibilities but a common kind of these necessary intercessors as respective 'subjects' of enunciation: the philosophical friend, the rival, the idiot, the overman are no less demons that Maxwell's demon or than Einstein's or Heisenberg’s observers. (WIP: 129). Our eyes meet as I lift my head; maybe he had been standing there for quite a while just watching me.
JP: Do you know what time it is?
HE: Time? Simple Time?... Great time, mad time, quite bedeviled time, in which the fun waxes fast and furious, with heaven-high leaping and springing and again, of course, a bit miserable, very miserable indeed, I not only admit that, I even emphasise it, with pride, for it is sitting and fit, such is artist-way and artist-nature.
--Code and sense perception--
DB: In code the role of the partial coder is to perceive and to experience, although these perceptions and affections might not be those of the coder, in the currently accepted sense, but belong to the code. Does code interpolate the coder, or only the user? Ideal partial observers are the perceptions or sensory affections of code itself manifested in functions and 'functives', the code crystallised affect.
JP: Maybe the function in code determines a state of affairs, thing or body that actualises the virtual on a plane of reference and in a system of co-ordinates, a dimensional classification; the concept in code expresses an event that gives consistency to the virtual on a plane of immanence and in an ordered form.
DB: Well, in each case the respective fields of coding find themselves marked out by very different entities but that nonetheless exhibit a certain analogy in their task: a problem. Is this a world-directed perspective'code as an action facing the world?
JP: Does that not consisting in failing to answer a question? In adapting, in co-adapting, with a higher taste as problematic faculty, are corresponding elements in the process being determined? Do we not replicate the chains of equivalence, allowing the code, to code, so to speak, how we might understand it?
DB: Coders are writers, and every writer is a sellout. But an honest joy/Does itself destroy/For a harlot coy.
JP: We might ask ourselves the following question: is the software coder a scientist? A philosopher? Or an artist? Or a schizophrenic?
AL: For me the only code is that which places an explosive device in its package, fabricating a counterfeit currency. Which in part the knowing children sang to me.
Dr. K: This man is mad. There has been for a long time no doubt of it, and it is most regrettable that in our circle the profession of alienist is not represented. I, as a numismatist, feel myself entirely incompetent in this situation.
DB: For Deleuze, the ascription of these titles exceeds determining whether the tools of the trade in question are microscopes and test- tubes, cafes and cigarettes, or easels and oil-paints. Rather they identify the kind of thinking that each group practices. Latour claimed that if you gave him a laboratory he could move the world. Maybe prosopopoeia is part of the answer, he should ask code what it thinks.
JP: But not just the kind of thinking, but the kind of problems which this thought presupposes, and the nature of the solutions that it can provide. To ask under which category the coder clicks her mouse is to question whether she is creating concepts as opposed to dealing in functives like a scientist, or generating percepts and affects like an artist.
DB: If you're actually going to love technology, you have to give up sentimental slop, novels sprinkled with rose water. All these stories of efficient, profitable, optimal, functional technologies.
JP: Who said I wanted to love technology?
DB: The philosopher loves the concept. The artist, the affect. Do the coders love the code?
JP: If we say that code is a concept, summoning into being or releasing free software as an event, the coder is cast first andforemost as a philosopher. The coder, as philosopher, could neither love nor covet her code prior to its arrival. It must take her by surprise. For the philosopher, or more specifically the conceptual personae through whom concepts come to pass and are given voice, (Deleuze does not strictly believe in the creativity of an individual ego), Deleuze reserves a privileged role in the modern world which is so woefully lacking in creation and in resistance to the present. He writes: 'The creation of concepts in itself calls for a future form, for a new earth and people that do not yet exist' (1994, 108). Deleuze would hope this future form would be recognizable by virtue of its dislocation from the present.
DB: If the software coder really is a philosopher, what kind of a future is free software summoning and who are the new people who might later exist?
JP: Thanks to computers, we now know that there are only differences of degree between matter and texts. In fact, ever since a literary happy few started talking about 'textual machines' in connection with novels, it has been perfectly natural for machines to become texts written by novelists who are as brilliant as they are anonymous (Latour). But then is there no longer any difference between humans and nonhumans.
DB: No, but there is no difference between the spirit of machines and their matter, either; they are souls through and through (Latour).
JP: But don't the stories tell us that machines are purported to be pure, separated from the messy world of the real? Their internalworld floating in a platonic sphere, eternal and perfect. Is the basis of their functioning deep within the casing numbers tickingover numbers, overflowing logic registers and memory addresses?
DB: I agree. Logic is often considered the base of code. Logic is reductionist not accidentally but essentially and necessarily; itwants to turn concepts into functions. In becoming propositional, the conceptual idea of code loses all the characteristics it possessed as a concept: its endoconsistency and its exoconsistency. This is because of a regime of independence that has replaced that of inseparability, the code has enframed the concept.
--Code as science--
DB: Do you think a real hatred inspires logic's rivalry with, or its will to supplant, the concept? Deleuze thought 'it kills the concept twice over'.
JP: The concept is reborn not because it is a scientific function and not because it is a logical proposition: it does not belong to a discursive system and it does not have a reference. The concept shows itself and does nothing but show itself. Concepts are really monsters that are reborn from their fragments.
DB: But how does this relate to the code, and more specifically to free software and free culture? Can we say that this is thatsummoning? Can the code save us?
JP: Free software knows only relations of movement and rest, of speed and slowness, between unformed, or relatively unformed, elements, molecules or particles borne away by fluxes. It knows nothing of subjects but rather singularities called events or haecceities. Free software is a machine but a machine that has no beginning and no end. It is always in the middle, between things. Free software is where things pick up speed, a transversal movement, that undermines its banks and accelerates in the middle. But that is not to say that capital does not attempt to recode it, reterritorialising its flows within the circuits of capital.
DB: A project or a person is here only definable by movements and rests, speeds and slowness (longitude) and by affects, intensities (latitude). There are no more forms, but cinematic relations between unformed elements; there are no more subjects but dynamic individuations without subjects, which constitute collective assemblages. Nothing develops, but things arrive late or in advance, and enter into some assemblage according to their compositions of speed. Nothing becomes subjective but haecceities take shape according to the compositions of non-subjective powers and effects. Maps of speeds and intensities (e.g. Sourceforge).
JP: We have all already encountered this business of speeds and slowness: their common quality is to grow from the middle, to be always in-between; they have a common imperceptible, like the vast slowness of massive Japanese wrestlers, and all of a sudden, a decisive gesture so swift that we didn't see it.
DB: Good code, Bad code. Deleuze asks: 'For what do private property, wealth, commodities, and classes signify'? and answers: 'The breakdown of codes' (AO, 218). Capitalism is a generalized decoding of flows. It has decoded the worker in favour of abstract labour, it has decoded the family, as a means of consumption, in favour of interchangeable, faceless consumers and has decoded wealth in favour of abstract, speculative, merchant capital. In the face of this, it is difficult to know if we have too much code or too little and what the criteria might be by which we could make qualitative distinctions between one type of code and another, such as code as concept and code as commodity.
JP: We could suggest that the schizophrenic code (i.e. the schizophrenic coding as a radical politics of desire) could seek tode-normalise and de-individualise through a multiplicity of new, radical collective arrangements against power. Perhaps a radical hermeneutics of code, code as locality and place, a dwelling.
DB: Not all code is a dwelling. Bank systems, facial recognition packages, military defence equipment and governmental monitoring software is code but not a dwelling. Even so, this code is in the domain of dwelling. That domain extends over this code and yet is not limited to the dwelling place. The bank clerk is at home on the bank network but does not have shelter there; the working woman is at home on the code but does not have a dwelling place there; the chief engineer is at home in the programming environment but does not dwell there. This code enframes her. She inhabits them and yet does notdwell in them.
--Code as art--
JP: You are right to distinguish between code as 'challenging-forth' (Heidegger) and code that is a 'bringing-forth'. The code that is reterritorialised is code that is proprietary and instrumental, has itself become a form of 'standing-reserve'.
DB: So how are we to know when code is a 'bringing-forth'? How will we know if it is a tool for conviviality. How will we distinguish between the paranoiac and the schizophrenic?
JP: We know, that the friend or lover of code, as claimant does not lack rivals. If each citizen lays claim to something then we need to judge the validity of claims. The coder lays claim to the code, and the corporation, and the lawyer, who all say, 'I am the friend of code'. First it was the computer scientists who exclaimed 'This is our concern, we are the scientists!'. Then it was the turn of the lawyers, the journalists and the state chanting 'Code must be domesticated and nationalised!' Finally the most shameful moment came when companies seized control of the code themselves 'We are the friends of code, we put it in our computers, and we sell it to anyone'. The only code is functional and the only concepts are products to be sold. But even now we see the lawyers agreeing with the corporations, we must control the code, we must regulate the code, the code must be paranoiac.
DB: This is perhaps the vision offered by William Gibson's Neuromancer, a dystopian realization of the unchecked power of multinational corporations which, despite the efforts of outlaw subcultures, monopolize code. Through their creation of AI entities code becomes autonomous, it exceeds human control. If indeed it makes sense to retain the term human, which Gibson pejoratively substitutes with 'meat'. The new human-machinic interfaces engendered by software and technological development demand the jettisoning of received categories of existence as they invent uncanny new ones.
JP: This is the possibility of code. The code as a war machine. Nomadic thought. The code as outsider art, the gay science, code as desiring-production, making connections, to ever new connections.
DB: Code can be formed into networks of singularities into machines of struggle. As Capital de-territorializes code there is the potential through machines to re-territorialize. Through transformative constitutive action and network sociality in other words the multitude-code can be deterritorializing, it is multiplicity and becoming, it is an event. Code is becoming nomadic.
JP: This nomadic code upsets and exceeds the criteria of representational transparency. According to Jean Baudrillard, the omnipresence of code in the West—DNA, binary, digital—enables the production of copies for which there are no originals. Unsecured and cut adrift from the 'reality' which representation has for centuries prided itself on mirroring, we are now in the age of simulation. The depiction of code presents several difficulties for writers, who, in seeking to negotiate the new technological landscape, must somehow bend the representational medium of language and the linear process of reading to accommodate the proliferating ontological and spatio-temporal relations that code affords.
DB: This tension is as palpable in Gibson's efforts to render cyberspace in prose (he first coined the term in Neuromancer) as it is on the book cover, where the flat 2D picture struggles to convey the multi-dimensional possibilities of the matrix. The aesthetics of simulation, the poetics of cyberspace and of hyperreality are, we might say, still under construction.
JP: Perhaps code precludes artistic production as we know it. Until the artist creates code and dispenses with representational media altogether, is it possible that her work will contribute only impoverished, obsolete versions of the age of simulation?
DB: Artists have responded to 'code' as both form and content. As form, we might also think of code as 'genre', the parodying of which has become a staple in the postmodern canon. Films such as 'The Scream' series, 'The Simpsons', or 'Austin Powers';flaunt and then subvert the generic codes upon which the production and interpretation of meaning depends. More drastically, Paul Auster sets his 'New York Trilogy' in an epistemological dystopia in which the world does not yield to rational comprehension as the genre of detective fiction traditionally demands. If clues are totally indistinguishable from (co)incidental detail, how can the detective guarantee a resolution, how can order be restored? As Auster emphasizes, generic codes and aesthetic form underwrite ideological assumptions and can be described as the products of specific social relations.
JP: And what of code as content? Like the 'Matrix'. Here is a film which has latched onto the concept of code and also its discussion in contemporary philosophy, almost smugly displaying its dexterity in handling both.
DB: Or 'I Heart Huckabees' with its unfolding of a kind of existential code that underlies human reality. Are our interpretations shifting to an almost instrumental understanding of code as a form of weak structuralism? Philosophy as mere code, to be written, edited and improved, turned into myth so that our societies can run smoothly.
JP: The hacker stands starkly here. If code can be hacked, then perhaps we should drop a monkey-wrench in the machine, or sugar in the petrol tank of code? Can the philosopher be a model for the hacker or the hacker for the philosopher? Or perhaps the hacker, with the concentrations on the smooth, efficient hacks, might not be the best model. Perhaps the cracker is a better model for the philosophy of the future. Submerged, unpredictable and radically decentred. Outlaw and outlawed.
DB: Perhaps. But then perhaps we must also be careful of the fictions that we both read and write. And keep the radical potentialities of code and philosophy free.
Wet with fever and fatigue we can now look toward the shore and say goodbye to where the windows shone so brightly.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 14 June 2006 06:01 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 14 June 2006 16:51 (thirteen years ago) link
other college phrases: "creative destruction," ceteris paribus. quo vadisres Arcadia ego"Drang nach Ostendas dritte ReichLebensraumKulturkampfsturm und drangBildungsromants: mise only thing that anyone ever knows about Thomas Kuhn)contraposto, of suture.see also: scopophilia, female as to-be-looked-atvigo, spengler, 'history class, whenever you see some statistic being thrown around whether it's being distorted or not."
BOOLEAN HIERARCHY IMPLICIT PARALLELISM, MUTUAL EXCLUSION, SEMAPHORE, ATOMIC OPERATION, (the dude who came up w/ the term "conspicuous the long run, we are all dead!")joseph schumpeter (the friedmanjohn kenneth galbraithjames buchananpaul krugman
economics -- the coase theorem!- ("OMG the limits of Western knowledge!!!")semiotics"to-be-looked-at-ness""queering of the..."phallo(go)centricthird worldISTthe of choice here)systems of significationthe uncannyconvergence, constructionism/essentialism, the digital ddd
the Naciremasearch: the pareto principle (aka "the 20/80 rule") theoryprisoners' dilemnathe phrases "moveable feast" (lit. majors) and "rational Hammadi library, 'The Fly Is About AIDS', Dziga Vertov, is "post hoc, ergo propter hoc." or something like ipsa loquiturexclusio uniusWeltschmerzWeltanschuungGötterdämmerungvis-a-vis, ergo, QEDars longa, vita brevis..."Et in en scene vs. mise en placepronunciamento"paradigm shift" (often the chiaroscuro,ionic, doric, corinthian.the glass ceilingsee also: phallic camera, theory moves in discreet cycles'Tristam Shandy."sublimationprojectionHerodotus, Thucydides, Gibbonperformativity "After this to make a point, you'll be able to tell FUNCTIONAL PROGRAMMING, TAIL-RECURSIVE FUNCTION, MEMORY COHERENCY MODEL, FINITE-STATE MACHINE,
adam smiththomas malthusdavid ricardokarl marxleon walrashenry georgethorstein veblen consumption")arthur pigoujohn maynard keynes (the guy who said "in dude who came up the term "creative destruction")paul samuelsonmilton ven diagramsthe madeleine in RechercheThe Milgram Experiment!Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle: imperial imaginarygeographies of spectatorshipthe nature of the (insert medium divide, image politics cf. kennedy/nixon debate, "cf.".
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 15 June 2006 02:33 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Friday, 16 June 2006 02:44 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Saturday, 17 June 2006 02:49 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Saturday, 17 June 2006 19:03 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Tuesday, 20 June 2006 02:31 (thirteen years ago) link
On their fake Dow Chemical Website , the Yes Men first said as clearly and emphatically as possible that Dow Chemical Company had no intention whatsoever of repairing the damage. The real company received considerable backlash and both the real Dow and the Yes Men's Dow denied the statements but Dow took no real action. The Yes Men decided to pressure Dow further, so as "Finisterra" went on the news to claim that Dow planned to liquidate Union Carbide and use the resulting $12 billion to pay for medical care, clean up the site, and fund research into the hazards of other Dow products. After two hours of wide coverage, Dow issued a press release denying the statement, ensuring even greater coverage.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 21 June 2006 02:42 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 22 June 2006 02:52 (thirteen years ago) link
(1)one who believes it may be possible to avoid bodily death altogether.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Friday, 23 June 2006 02:29 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Friday, 23 June 2006 16:03 (thirteen years ago) link
This type of "ethical" argument is possibly the most absurd of all -- a strong statement, I realise, given the stiffness of its competition -- because of the enormity of what it overlooks within its own scope. To stand back and (by one's inaction) cause someone to die sooner, when one could act to let them live a lot longer at no (or even at some modest) cost to oneself or anyone else, is arguably the second most unnatural thing a human can do, second only (and then by a very small margin) to causing someone's death by an explicit action. (Of course, there is plenty of departure from these ethics in the world, but that's not the point -- abandonment of the law of the jungle is what most fundamentally defines humanity, and also what defines civilisation.) Thus, to ask humanity to accept the "naturalness" argument against life extension, and on that basis to delay the development of a cure for aging, is thus to ask it to transform itself into something as un-human as can be imagined. Even if such concerns were to turn out to be valid, it is for those who experience this diminution of their existence to act to restore it (e.g., by rejecting rejuvenation therapies that are on offer), not for us to make their choice for them.
One can also put this in terms of technology, rather than civilisation. It's clearly unnatural for us to accept the world as we find it: ever since we invented fire and the wheel, we've been demonstrating both our natural ability and our equally natural inherent desire to fix things that we don't like about ourselves and our environment. We would be going against that most fundamental aspect of what it is to be human if we decided that something so horrible as everyone getting frail and decrepit and dependent was something we should live with forever. And if you believe God put us here, presumably you also believe that God made us the way we are on purpose. Thus, if changing our world is playing God, it's just one more way in which God made us in His image.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Saturday, 24 June 2006 00:39 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 25 June 2006 02:54 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 25 June 2006 21:04 (thirteen years ago) link
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that's a difference, ce potentiel de pomo liberté , différent
than ancient world, and different from the modern world.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Tuesday, 27 June 2006 13:19 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 29 June 2006 02:57 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 29 June 2006 03:00 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Saturday, 1 July 2006 02:22 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 2 July 2006 02:21 (thirteen years ago) link
― Machibuse '80 (ex machina), Sunday, 2 July 2006 20:17 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Monday, 3 July 2006 03:00 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 5 July 2006 02:19 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 6 July 2006 02:23 (thirteen years ago) link
Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting an outline and, perhaps, discussion questions about Hardt/Negri's Multitude. Here are my notes on the Preface.
Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (N.Y.: Penguin Press, 2004).
Preface: Life in Common
I. The possibility of democracy on the global scale is emerging for the first time;A. the project of the multitude both expresses the desire for this democracy and provides the means for achieving it.B. But the primary obstacle to democracy is war, so there we must begin. (xi).II. This book is a sequel to Empire.A. Empire addressed the new global form of sovereignty.B. It identified “network power” as this new form, including as its primary elements, or nodes, dominant nation-state plus major capitalist institutions, supranational institution, and other powers. This power is “imperial,” but not imperialist. (xii).C. Our analysis cuts across “diagonally” current debates about:1. Multilateralism/unilateralism2. Pro-/anti-Americanism3. Because not even America can “go it alone” (xii-xiii).D. Empire rules over a global order:1. Fractured by internal divisions and hierarchies2. Plagued by perpetual war, which is:a. Both inevitable in Empire,b. Functions as a system of rule (xiii).III. This book focuses on the Multitude:A. Two faces to globalization:1. New mechanisms of control and conflict that maintain order.2. New circuits of cooperation and collaboration that stretch across nations and continents (xiii).B. The Multitude itself might be conceived as a network in which all differences can be expressed freely and equally.1. It is thus different from “the People,” which is “one.”2. And from the “Masses,” which is indifference, the merging of differences into grey,3. The Multitude is multi-colored, like Joseph’s magical coat.4. The challenge posed by the concept of the multitude is:a. For a social multiplicity to manage to communicate and act in commonb. While remaining internally different (xiv).5. It also is different from the working class, because:a. The working class no longer plays a hegemonic role in the world economy,b. Production today has to be conceived in social terms rather than the merely economic: the production of communications, relationships, and forms of life.c. The Multitude is composed potentially of all the diverse figures of social production. (xv)C. Labor as social production:1. Tends through transformations of the economy to create and be embedded in cooperative and communicative networks2. Especially true for labor that creates immaterial projects such as ideas, images, affects, relationships.3. This new model of production we call “biopolitical production” to highlight that it not only involves the production of material goods but also produces all facets of social life, economic, cultural, and political.D. The Multitude also, in contrast to earlier revolutionary organizations, has increasingly democratic organization—network organizations that displace authority in collaborative relationships (xvi).
IV. But don’t expect that this book will answer the question, “What Is to Be Done?”A. Our goal is to rethink our most basic political concepts: power, resistance, multitude, democracy (xvi).B. And to do so in language as clear as possible (xvii).C. Empire/Multitude are related as Hobbes’ de Cive/Leviathan are, except that while Hobbes moved from the nascent social class to the new form of sovereignty, our focus is the inverse—from the new form of sovereignty to the new global class.
Posted by jim at 11:30 PM | Comments (1)
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 6 July 2006 23:42 (thirteen years ago) link
The next few extended entries on the Blogora are my outline of Hardt and Negri's Empire (2000); I hope we can have some discussion of their new book Multitude over the next few weeks. I realized that it might be helpful to have some notes on the earlier, more difficult work.
Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2000).
1. “Our basic hypothesis is that sovereignty has taken a new form, composed of a series of national and supranational organisms united under a single logic of rule. This new global form of sovereignty is what we call Empire” (xii).a. But Empire is NOT imperialism. The sovereignty of the nation-state was the cornerstone of imperialism. Empire has no territorial center of power; it is a decentered and deterritorializing apparatus of rule. “Empire manages hybrid identities, flexible hierarchies, and plural exchanges through modulating networks of command” (xii).b. Empire not a metaphor, but a “concept”:i. A regime that effectively encompasses the whole civilized world.ii. It is not a historical regime originating in conquest, but an order that effectively suspends history and fixes the existing state of affairs for eternity (xiv).iii. The object of its rule is social life in its entirety: biopower.iv. Although continually bathed blood, the concept is always dedicated to the notion of a perpetual and universal peace outside history (xv).
2. The dominant productive processes have changed:a. Role of industrial factory labor has been reduced and priority given instead to “communicative, cooperative, and affective labor” (xiii).b. Creation of wealth tends ever more toward biopolitical production, “the production of social life itself, in which the economic, the political, and the cultural increasingly overlap and invest one another” (xiii)
3. Rather than merely resist global flows and exchanges the “multitude” needs to invent new democratic forms and a new “constituent power” that will “one day take us through and beyond Empire” (xv). An alternative global society is being written today through the “resistances, struggles, and desires of the multitude” (xvi).
4. This book is an interdisciplinary toolbox of concepts for theorizing and acting in and against Empire. Narrow disciplinary boundaries are breaking down: an economist needs to understand cultural production to make sense of the economy, and a cultural critic needs a basic knowledge of economic processes to understand culture (xvi). In note 4, Hardt and Negri cites Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus and Karl Marx’s Capital as models for their interdisciplinary work.
5. Overview of the book’s structure:a. Part 1: general problematic of Empire.b. Part 2: passage from the early modern period to the present from the standpoint of the history of ideas—especially the concept of sovereignty.c. Intermezzo: hinge that articulates the movement from the realm of ideas to production.d. Part 3: narrates the same passage from the standpoint of production (production includes both economic production AND the production of subjectivity). Both parts 2 and 3 are structured by:i. Account of the modern, imperialist phaseii. Mechanisms of passageiii. Our postmodern imperial worlde. Part 4: alternatives beyond Empire.
Empire 1.3: Alternatives Within Empire
I. Introduction:A. Construction of Empire is a response to class struggle by the "multitude."B. Still, the construction of Empire is a step forward--NO nostalgia for power structures such as the nation-state to protect against global capital.C. Like Marx, for whom capitalism, was "progressive," despite its horrors. [Capitalism as simultaneously the best thing and worst thing that happened to people.]D. Left has committed itself to local struggles and nationalism against global capital, but we believe this to be "false and damaging" (44). Can easily devolve into a "kind of primordialism that fixes and romanticizes social relations and identities" (45)E. We need instead to address "the production of locality, that is, the social machines that create and recreate the identities and differences that are understood as the local" (45). "We should be done once and for all with the search for an outside, a standpoint that imagines a purity for our politics." Let us confront the homogenizing and heterogenizing flows of Empire in all their complexity, "grounding our analysis in the power of the global multitude" (46).
II. The Ontological Drama of the Res Gestae:[A. res gestae=means literally "things done" in Latin. In the law, the "res gestae" rule is that a spontaneous remark made by a person immediately after an event (Oh, no! I ran over your cat!) is likely to be true, and thus an exception to the hearsay rule. Term seems to come from Althusser (p. 63) to refer to self-constituting, unmediated collective action . . .]B. 2 methodological approaches:1. Critical and deconstructive: subverting the hegemonic languages and social structures, thus revealing an alternative ontological basis that resides in the creative and productive practices of the multitude.2. Constitutive and ethico-political: "seeking to lead the processes of the production of subjectivity toward the constitution of an effective social, political alternative, a new constituent power" (47). Refuses any deterministic conception of historical development and any "rational" celebration of the result (48).III. Refrains of the "Internationale":A. Proletarian internationalism was a protest against the nation-state and its warmaking capacity; but its time is over (49-50). These were the real motor that drove the development of the institutions of capital and drove it in a process of reform and restructuring (51). [The point is valid: without threat of revolution, we would never have gotten the 40-hour week, occupational safety and health legislation, labor laws, etc. The CLOSER a country was to the Soviet Union the more likely it was to have a generous welfare state.]1. First wave after 18482. After 1917 Soviet Revolution3. After the Chinese and Cuban revolutionsB. Living labor always tries to liberate itself from rigid, territorializing regimes. "When one adopts the perspective of the activity of the multitude, its production of subjectivity and desire, one can recognize how globalization, insofar as it operates a real deterritorialization of the previous structures of exploitation and control, is really a condition of the liberation of the multitude" (52). [Why do I hear "mob" when they say "multitude"?]
IV. The Mole and the Snake:A. We must broaden the term proletariat to include all whose labor is directly or indirectly exploited by and subjected to capitalist norms of production and reproduction (52).B. Immaterial labor power, involved in communication, cooperation, and reproduction of affects, occupies an increasingly central position both in capitalist production and the composition of the proletariat.C. New struggles, though, are incommunicable; Chiapas, Intifada, etc. don't immediately translate across borders the labor struggles once did (54).D. But:1. Each struggle leaps immediately to the global level and attacks the imperial constitution2. All destroy the distinction between economic and political: they are at once economic, political, and cultural--thus biopolitical struggles over a form of life, creating new public spaces and new forms of community (56).E. An obstacle is lack of a common enemy; clarifying the nature of the common enemy is an essential political task. How can we create a new common language that facilitates communication, like the languages of anti-imperialism and proletarian internationalist did for an earlier era. Perhaps we need to learn how to communicate singularities? No clear, mole-like tunnels any more, but the undulating motions of the snake (57).F. Leninism: target the weakest link (i.e., the weakest capitalist state, Russia). Now there is no weakest link. But, Empire can be attacked now from any point (59).
V. Two-Headed Eagle:A. First head of the imperial eagle: juridical structure and constituted power, constructed by the machine of biopolitical command.B. Second head is the plural multitude of productive, creative subjectivities of globalization who have learned to sail on this enormous sea (60). Universal nomadism.
VI. Political Manifesto:A. [Initial reference to Louis Althusser, the French Communist philosopher's "period of seclusion" refers to being institutionalized after strangling his wife during a manic-depressive episode. . . .] The genre of the "manifesto" as text.1. Similarity between Machiavelli's Prince and the Communist Manifesto: form of the argument consists of a specific apparatus (dispositif) that establishes particular relationships between the discourse and its object and between the discourse and its subject.2. Difference: subject (proletariat) and object (the Party) are co-present, while in Machiavelli there is a distance between the subject (the multitude) and the object (the Prince and the free, republican state) (63).B. What would a new manifesto look like? What subjects and objects would it create? "how can the endeavor to bridge the distance between the formation of the multitude as subject and the constitution of a democratic political apparatus find its prince?" (65). A new manifesto must aspire to fulfill a prophetic function, the function of an immanent desire that organizes the multitude (66).
Empire, Part 2: Passages of Sovereignty
[Remember that Parts 2 and 3 are the story of the passage from modernity to postmodernity, from imperialism to Empire; Part 2 specifically narrates the passage primarily in terms of the history of ideas, especially the genealogy of the concept of sovereignty, while part 3 will look at the same passage from the standpoint of production (not only economic, but also production of subjectivity itself). Each part's general structure will move from 1: modern, imperialist phase to 2: mechanisms of passage, to 3: our postmodern imperial world (xvii).]
2.1: Two Europes, Two Modernities
We identify 3 moments in the constitution of European modernity related to concept of sovereignty:A. Revolutionary discovery of the plane of immanence: discoveries in philosophy and science that made attention turn to "this world"B. reaction against these immanent forces and crisis in the form of authority:1. Renaissance and Reformation culminate in War2. Modernity itself as defined by crisis:a. between immanent, constructive, creative forces (like Spinoza's placing of humanity and nature in the position of God) and theb. transcendent power aimed at restoring order (e.g. the modern, absolutist state)C. Partial and temporary resolution of this crisis in the formation of a modern state as locus of sovereignty that transcends and mediates the plane of immanent forces. Sovereignty developed in coordination with modernity itself, Eurocentrism (70).1. Descartes and Kant as part of this strategy, by emphasizing reason and Enlightenment, contributing to a "story" Europe told about itself;2. Hobbes by creating a transcendent political apparatus as God; sovereignty thus defined both by transcendence and representation (84);3. Rousseau does the same with the General Will (85);4, Smith does the same by reducing everything to the Market (86), thus sovereignty and capital are synthesized; also Weber, with bureaucratic rationality (89-90).D. A new humanism? Refusal of transcendence, acceptance of creative power of our posthuman, simian, cyborg bodies (92).
2.2: Sovereignty of the Nation-State
I. Birth of the Nation:A. Patrimonial state as body of the monarch; cuju regio, ejus religio--religion as subordinated to the territorial control of the sovereign, who himself is part of the body of God (94).B. Yielded to the spiritual identity of the nation (rather than the divine body of the king). Reinvented the patrimonial body of the monarchic state in a new form. This new totality of power was structured partly by new capitalist productive processes on one hand and old networks of absolutist administration on the other. This was an uneasy relationship, so it was stabilized by cultural, integrating entity of national identity, based on blood relations, spatial continuity of history, and linguistic commonality (95). From subject to citizen. But this quickly became an ideological nightmare. Herder: every human perfection is, in a certain respect, "national" (101). the next step is construction of absolute racial difference (103). [Importance for the history of rhetoric: the shift from the classical texts to modern "literature" is deeply involved with this discovery of the spirit of the "People" in its national language/literature, which comes to replace Greek and Latin] But this was also the consolidation of the victory of the bourgeoisie (105).C. Paradox: the concept of nation promotes stasis and restoration in the hands of the dominant, while it is a weapon for change and revolution in the hands of the subordinated (106). Malcolm X, for example (107). But Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia as examples of use by the dominant (110). Nationalist socialism (Stalin) and national socialism (Hitler) met because the abstract machine of national sovereignty is at the heart of both. [This is one of the most interesting political claims in the book. Counter-arguments?]
2.3: The Dialectics of Colonial Sovereignty
I. Introduction: "The crisis of modernity has from the beginning had an intimate relation to racial subordination and colonization"; the "dark Other of European Enlightenment" has been a necessary component for the negative foundation of European identity and modern sovereignty as such. "Colonial sovereignty is another insufficient attempt to resolve the crisis of modernity" (115).
II. Humankind Is One and ManyA. Don't forget the utopian element of global colonization: love of differences and the belief in universal freedom and equality. Examples of this utopianism:1. Bartolome de Las Casas--who protested against Spanish treatment of the natives of the New World.2. Toussaint L'Ouverture--leader of the successful slave revolt in Haiti (in the name of the same Universal Rights of Man used during the French Revolution).3. Karl Marx--advice to India: refuse both submission to British capital AND return to traditional Indian social structures. But the only alternative path Marx can imagine is the same path traveled by European society already (120). Marx's "Eurocentrism."B. The Crisis of Colonial Slavery:1. Perhaps the extension of slavery in the New World was a kind of imposed apprenticeship to capitalism (122). [Interesting argument; this is a much-contested issue among historians.]2. "The deterritorializing desire of the multitude is the motor that drives the entire process of capitalist development, and capital must constantly attempt to contain it" (124).C. The Production of Alterity:1. "The negative construction of non-European others is finally what founds and sustains European identity itself" (124).2. Anthropology as key academic discipline for "producing" the native other (125).3. British had to write a whole new Indian history to legitimate colonial rule (126).D. The Dialectic of Colonialism:1. "Colonialism homogenizes real social differences by creating one overriding opposition that pushes differences to the absolute and then subsumes the opposition under the identity of European civilization. Reality is not dialectical, colonialism is" (128).2. "Colonialism is an abstract machine that produces alterity and identity" (129). Another version of Hegel's Master-Slave dialectic, in which the Master can only achieve a hollow form of recognition; it is the Slave, through life-and-death struggle, who has the potential to gain full consciousness (129)** see appended note on Hegel.E. The Boomerang of Alterity:1. Sartrean solutions: unite all oppressed peoples in the same struggle; practice of negritude (black is beautiful, in the US version); but only as a first step toward the ultimate goal of a raceless society (130-1).2. Fanon: reciprocal counterviolence (The Wretched of the Earth). Like Malcolm X.F. The Poisoned Gift of National Liberation1. National liberation becomes a project of modernization that hands the revolution over to a new power group, from India to Algeria and Cuba to Vietnam (134).2. But the new global order of capital is quite different from the colonialist and imperialist circuits of international domination.G. Contagion:1. Image of the colonized as disease-ridden (in Celine's Journey to the End of the Night).2. If one looks back, Europe appears reassuringly sterile.3. "The horror released by European conquest and colonialism is a horror of unlimited contact, flow, and exchange--or really the horror of contagion, miscegenation, and unbounded life" (136).4. Now we see Africa and Haiti's AIDS epidemic in terms reminiscent of the colonialist imaginary: unrestrained sexuality, moral corruption, and lack of hygiene .5. "Nothing can bring back the hygienic shields of colonial boundaries. The age of globalization is the age of universal contagion" (136).
Posted by jim at 11:35 AM | Comments (2)
Here's an outline of the Preface and Part One of Hardt and Negri's 2004 book Multitude. Anyone interested in discussing? They put "communication" at the heart of their diagnosis of contemporary capitalism and at the heart of their notion of resistance, so the book is of theoretical interest to rhetoricians.
1. Any specific “clarification” or “literacy” questions?2. Are the diagnoses of contemporary war accurate—particularly the “homology” between post-Fordist production and new forms of war and revolutionaryorganization?3. We should probably exercise the principle of hermeneutic charity here: read the whole book before we start trashing the lack of a practicalprogram—BUT,a. Is there a dangerous flirtation with “radical chic” in this book?b. The argument from jeopardy (see Hirschman, The Rhetoric of Reaction): why should we jeopardize the hard-won civil liberties and benefits of the social-democratic welfare state in the name of a revolutionary leap into the void?c. Why is it that every time they use the word “multitude” I hear the word“mob”? My general theory that all systems of political thought are based on one of two different types of anxiety:i. Fear of the Mob and the demagogues who might incite themii. Fear of the Elite and their monopoly of knowledge through expert discourses4. Virtually every major political theorist before the 18th century also reflected systematically on “rhetoric”—a theory of politicalprudence/practical wisdom involving the design of messages to persuade the target audience(s) of the political theory. What “rhetoric” is the counterpart of Hardt/Negri’s “dialectic”?
I. War is becoming a general, global, interminable phenomenon.A. War used to be armed conflict between sovereign political entities.B. Now it is more like civil war: armed conflict between sovereign or semisovereign combatants WITHIN a single sovereign territory (3).C. Like the beginning of the Thirty Years’ War, 9/11/2001 opened a new era of war: the passage from modernity to postmodernity (4).D. How to understand this phenomenon of brutal global state of war?1. The notion of EXCEPTION [from the creepy pro-Nazi German legal theorist Carl Schmitt: “sovereign is he who can declare a state of exception,” i.e. the suspension of “normal” constitutional liberties; Schmitt also proposed—with considerable influenced on right-wing political strategists—that “the friend/enemy distinction” is fundamental to politics—hence our current US politics of constant war against the other party, conceived as the polarized “enemy”].2. The goal of modern, liberal political thought and practice was the separation of war from politics (6).3. But now the exception, the state of war, has become permanent and general.4. It is connected with “American exceptionalism”:i. That we are an exception from European corruptionii. New thing: we can claim an exception from the law (8).iii. But the classical republicanism on which the US was founded claimed that no one is above the law; the new state of affairs erodes the republican tradition that runs through the nation’s history (9).
II. Golem [as in Empire, these italicized sections seem to serve the rhetorical purpose of providing an imaginative/poetic interlude in the more expository main argument]: “Perhaps what monsters like the Golem are trying to teach us, whispering to us secretly under the din of our global battlefield, is a lesson about the monstrosity of war and our possible redemption through love” (12).
III. The Global State of WarA. War is becoming a permanent social relation; politics is increasingly war conducted by other meansB. Foucault on biopower: force is reinscribed in all social institutions, economic inequality, even personal and sexual relations: “a form of rule aimed not only at controlling the population but producing and reproducing all aspects of social life” (13).C. War on drugs as an example of trend of treating enemies as set of concepts or practices (14)1. The limits of war are rendered indeterminate, both spatially and temporally2. The conceptual merging of war and policing.3. The concept of justice moves war beyond the battle of interests to the cause of humanity as a whole (14-15).4. As a result, tolerance—a central conception of modern thought—is being undermined.D. Terrorism is used as justification for this expansion of war, but the term is unstable, potentially meaning:1. Revolt against a legitimate government2. Exercise of violence by a legitimate government in violation of human rights3. Practice of warfare in violation of rules of engagement (targeting civilians)E. Diminishing civil liberties and increasing rates of incarceration are manifestation of a constant social war. The new forms of power and control operate in contradiction with the new social composition of the population and blocks its new forms of productivity and expression—a similar obstruction of freedom and productive expression led to the implosion of the Soviet Union (17).
IV. Biopower and SecurityA. War is becoming ontological, but moving in 2 directions:1. Localized police actions, but2. Raised up to an ontological, global level by technologies of global destruction.B. Ever increasing use of torture—a generalized, yet banalized technique of control. [From Nat Hentoff’s Village Voice column this week: --I'm perfectly comfortable in telling you [that] our country is one that safeguards human rights and human dignity. George W. Bush to a Russian reporter in Slovakia, February 24. --Mehboob Ahmad, a 35-year-old Afghan, was left hanging upside down by a chain, sexually assaulted, probed anally, threatened with a snarling dog at close range. Los Angeles Times, March 2, on Ali et al. v. Rumsfeld, a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First detailing Rumsfeld's responsibility for the torture and other abuses of U.S. detainees.--Then [the guard] brought a box of food and he made me stand on it, and he started punishing me. Then a tall black soldier came and put electrical wires on my fingers and toes and on my penis, and I had a bag over my head. Then he was saying, "which switch is on for electricity?" "United States of America: Human Dignity Denied: Torture and Accountability in the 'War on Terror,' " Amnesty International, 200-page report]C. Shift from defense to security—the use of preemptive strikes to undermine sovereignty (20).D. War now has a constituent, regulative function: it creates and maintains social hierarchies, a form of biopower aimed at the promotion and regulation of social life (21). While it was earlier regulated by legal structures, now war becomes regulating by imposing its own legal framework (22).E. Nationbuilding a good example of postmodern/essentialist thought: the nation can be destroyed or invented as part of a political program (23).
V. Legitimate ViolenceA. Declining ability of states to legitimate violence may explain increase in intensity of accusations of terrorism (27).B. Rise of international courts aimed at the destruction of rights and sovereignty of peoples through supranational jurisdictional practices (e.g. trial of Milosevic)—decline of international law and rise of a global or imperial form of law (29).C. The individualizing of the enemy: Noriega, bin Laden, Milosevic, Hussein, Qadafi—pedagogical tool for presenting this new view of war—not what power is, but what power saves us from (31).
VI. Samuel Huntington, Geheimrat: Trilateral Commission report of democracy in the 1970’s became blueprint for destruction of the welfare state; Clash of Civilizations became blueprint for current war.
I. Birth of the new warA. Postmodern warfare much like post-Fordist production:1. Based on mobility and flexibility2. Integrates intelligence, information, and immaterial labor3. Extends militarization to outer space, the ends of the earth, depths of the ocean (40).B. RMA: Revolution in Military Affairs1. New technologies provide new form of combat2. US now has overwhelming dominance of military power3. With the end of the cold war, paradigm of war as predictable mass conflict has ended, too (41).C. But:1. Doesn’t really correspond to reality,2. E.g. suicide bombings3. Lacks consideration of the social subject that makes war (45-46).D. Machiavelli’s republican ideal: armed, free men defending the republic; the postmodern dream of war without bodies, armies without soldiers, contradicts this ideal (48).E. The choice:1. All armies become mercenary armies2. How love of country could again become love of humanity (49-51).
II. Asymmetrical conflict:A. The enemy has a new form: threats to imperial order now appear as distributed networks rather than centralized and sovereign subjects—all wars today are netwars1. No center to the network2. No stable boundaries between inside and outside3. Makes it hard to find an “enemy target” to attack (54-55).4. The old army was like a wolf-pack; today’s enemy is a swarm, and it is very difficult to attack a swarm (57).5. So it takes a network to attack a network. Network forces of imperial enemies face network enemies on all sides (62).
I. The Primacy of ResistanceA. We need to research the genealogy of social and political movements of resistance, leading us to:1. A new vision of our world2. An understanding of the subjectivities capable of creating a new worldB. Need to understand:1. How people are integrated into the systems of economic production and reproduction2. What jobs they perform3. What they produceC. Thesis: The contemporary scene of labor and production is being transformed under the hegemony of IMMATERIAL LABOR: labor that produces immaterial products such as:1. Information2. Knowledges3. Images4. Relationships5. Affects (65).D. Not that the old industrial worker is irrelevant, but the contractual and material conditions of immaterial labor spread to the entire labor market:1. Blurring of distinction between work time and nonwork time, making the working day fill all of life2. Lack of long-term contracts puts labor in the precarious position of constant flexibility (performing many different tasks) and mobility (moving continually among locations)E. Positive aspects:1. Immaterial labor moves out from the economic realm to include the production and reproduction of society as a whole2. The production of ideas, knowledges, and affects directly produces social relationships—it is biopolitical3. New subjectivities are produced4. Immaterial labor takes the forms of networks based on communication, collaboration, and affective relationships—invents new independent networks of cooperation through which it produces (66)F. 3 principles from the genealogy of resistance:1. Find the form of resistance most effective in combating a specific form of power2. The most effective model of resistance turns out to have the same form as the dominant models of economic and social production3. Each new form of resistance is aimed at addressing the undemocratic qualities of previous movements, creating a chain of ever more democratic movementsG. Resistance, exodus, the emptying out of the enemy’s power, the multitude’s construction of a new society are one and the same process (69).
II. From the People’s Army to Guerrilla WarfareA. Fundamental passage of modern civil war: formation of dispersed and irregular rebel forces into an army (70).B. Downside:1. Revolutionary civil wars became motors of modernization2. Centralization of the people’s army made the rebellion undemocratic (73).C. 1960’s guerrillas had a greater desire for freedom and democracy: rejection of the centralized model of the popular army (74-75) (increasing participation of women in leadership and combat in these movements, 76).D. Unlike Arendt, we cannot separate the political from the social (77).
III. Inventing Network StrugglesA. “The People”: a middle term between consent given by the population and the command exercised by sovereign powerB. But even in resistance and rebellion, this popular will is always grounded in a charismatic, transcendent authority (tendency to privilege authority) .C. So, can we imagine a new process of legitimation based not on popular sovereignty but on the biopolitical productivity of the multitude (79)?D. Need to focus on the relationship between the organization of the movements and the organization of social and economic production.1. The networks of information, communication, and cooperation—the main dynamics of post-Fordist production—begin to define the new guerilla networks;2. use of the Internet not only as organizing tool, but as model for organizational structure (82).3. No center, only an irreducible plurality of nodes in communication with each other (83).4. Examples: 2nd Intifada, Zapatistas (make communication, horizontal network organizations central to their notion of revolution, irony itself as a political strategy) (85), identity politics, resurgence of anarchism, the distributed network approach of the WTO and World Social Forum protests (86), creating a “movement of movements” (87).E. Resisting war—thus resisting the legitimation of this global order—becomes a common ethical task (90).F. Swarm intelligence:1. AI/Computers: swarm intelligence refers to collective and distributed techniques of problem solving without central control or provision of a global model2. Intelligence based primarily on communication (91).3. Need to read Rimbaud’s hymns to the Paris Commune (comparison to insects) (92-3).G. Need to remember that there is no natural, evolutionary path that forms of resistance take; history develops in contradictory and random ways (93).
Posted by jim at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 6 July 2006 23:43 (thirteen years ago) link
My reading group just finished discussing Hardt and Negri's Multitude last night. I disliked Empire a great deal, but I was really very impressed with this book--the last chapter, on learning from both Lenin AND James Madison is particularly inspiring. Of the five of us, 2 analytic philosophers, one continental philosopher, and 2 small-r republican rhetoricians, I was probably the most enthusiastic. Here's an outline of Part III (final) for those of you following along at home.
Part III: Multitude
3.1 The Long March of Democracy
I. Crisis of Democracy in the Era of Armed Globalization: What does democracy mean in a globalized world?A. The social-democratic answer:1. Globalization defined in economic terms.2. Nation-states should withdraw from globalization, to assert their sovereignty3. But 9/11 changed all that, leading to 2 different strategies:a. Schroeder’s Germany: pursue multilateral cosmopolitan alliancesb. Blair’s Britain: accept US hegemony (231-233).B. Liberal cosmopolitan answer:1. Globalization fosters democracy, esp. in human rights2. War has made this seemingly the only viable alternative to US global control.3. Subset: the US cannot “go it alone” (234).C. U.S. hegemony answer (neoconservatism)1. US global control plus expansion of capitalism necessarily breeds democracy, because the rule of capital is inherently democratic2. US hegemony=democracy3. Some British writers encourage the US to accept imperialism, because the US is heir to benevolent European imperialism.4. US authors believe US hegemony is new and exceptional (234-5).D. Traditional-values conservative answer:1. Globalization threatens traditional conservative values.2. US global involvement does3. Unregulated capital does as well (235).E. What these answers miss:1. Democracy today faces a leap of scale beyond the nation-state.2. They insist on liberty first and democracy later, leading to the absolute rule of private property, undermining the will of everyone.3. In the era of biopolitical production, liberalism and liberty based on the virtue of the few or even the many is becoming impossible, precisely because the social nature of biopolitical production threatens private property.4. Democracy in fact can ONLY arise from below (236-7).
II. The Unfinished Democratic Project of ModernityA. We are back to early modern political theory now; global war parallels the role of “civil war” that concerned Hobbes, Descartes, and other founders of modern European thought (239).B. 18th-century innovations:1. Democracy as rule of many over the few (Pericles) was transformed into the democracy of everyone.2. Notion of representation: fulfilled the 2 contradictory functions of:a. linking the multitude to governmentb. but also separates it, as a “disjunctive synthesis” that simultaneously cuts and connects ( 241).3. The term “republicanism” was used by 18th-c. authors to mark their distance from democracy (242).C. The American founding:1. Madison, for example: the US Constitution’s representative schema is an effective guarantee against oppression by the majority (243).2. Anti-federalists favored small sovereign states in which delegates actually represented people3. What we got in the Constitution as an “elective aristocracy”4. All these discussions are refreshing to read now because they show how democracy and representation stand at odds with each other (244).D. Types of Representation (from Weber):1. Appropriated or patriarchal representation:a. How black slaves, women, and children were represented in the US Const.b. How the IMF and World Bank work today (245).2. Free representation (parliaments between elections)3. Instructed representation (more frequent elections, recall) (246-7).
III. Debtors’ Rebellion as example of:A. Contradiction inherent in the US system: a society divided along class lines.B. Same contradiction today with global debtC. But Shays’ Rebellion wasn’t productive, nor would a similar global one today; we need to address inequality in the global system before such a rebellion arises (247-9).
IV. The Unrealized Democracy of Socialism:A. Promising elements in the early socialist tradition:1. Critique of the “autonomy of politics”2. Rejection of separation between political representation and economic administration (249).B. Alternatives to traditional representation:1. The Party2. The Commune: destruction of sovereign power as separate from society3. Self-management/council Communism (tended to be strongest when skilled workers controlled industrial production, but assembly line production caused this model to yield to a “planning” model).C. Degradation of the socialist model into bureaucracy, and eventually the implosion of E. European socialist regimes in the late 1980’s (249-252).D. Weber: the problem is that socialism was still the administration of capital—the same relentless dynamic of the instrumental rationalization of life.E. Right-wing populisms thus emerged perversely out of the socialist tradition (254-5).
V. Revolt, Berlin 1953: rejection of representation and affirmation of the Communist expression of desire through the multitude (255-258).
VI. From Democratic Representation to Global Public Opinion:A. Public opinion as 18th c. invention: fulfill role for modern democracy that the assembly filled for ancient democracy (259).B. Opposing views:1. Utopian view of perfect representation of the will of the people through public opinion (James Bryce’s American Commonwealth (1895)2. Apocalyptic vision of manipulated mob rule (Le Bon’s The Crowd).C. Hegel’s vision of civil society (social, political, economic institutions that are not part of the state, e.g. families, civic groups, trade unions, political parties, interest groups, etc.) as a mediation between individual or group expressions and the social unity (260).D. The new role of the media in transforming public opinion.E. Habermas responds, a la Hegel, by defending public opinion as communicative action aimed at reaching understanding and forming a world of values: free expression plus free communicative exchanges—an alternative to instrumental reason and to capitalist control of communication, a protest against capitalist colonization of the lifeworld.F. H/N disagree with JH because we are “all already inside, contaminated,” requiring “ethical redemption” constructed outside the system (261).G. Luhmann’s functionalist emphasis on equilibrium (261-2).H. Birmingham School’s (cultural studies) emphasis on communication as productive; we are not just passive receivers or consumers.I. C ommunication is productive, not only of economic values but also of subjectivity, and thus communication is central to biopolitical production; we can create alternative subcultures and new collective networks of expression within the dominant culture (263).
VII. White Overalls: a form of expression for new forms of labor: network organization, spatial mobility, temporal flexibility—a coherent political force against the new global system of power (Genoa G-8 protests in 2001) (265-267).
3.2 Global Demands for Democracy
I. Cahiers de Doleances [list of grievances]A. Grievances of representation: World Bank, IMF, UNB. Grievances of rights and justice: human rights NGO’s; truth commissions; international tribunals (Nuremburg Trials); International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court (US refuses to ratify)C. Economic Grievances: Debt, privatization, Jubilee MovementD. Biopolitical Grievances: construction projects (World Bank dam in India protests), control of knowledges (pharmeceutical company control over AIDS drugs) (268-285).
II. Convergence in Seattle: the first “global” protest (286), including environmentalists, union members and other of the Estates General presenting their grievances (286-288).
III. Experiments in Global Reform: Reform and Revolution today cannot be separated (289).A. Reforms of representation1. Making IMF and World bank “accountable” and “transparent” (290).2. Eliminating the UN Security Council (291-2).3. World Social Forum as possible model for a global body, not relying on one-man one-vote but on representing existing organizations or communities (294-5).4. European multilevel federal model (EU) (295-296).5. All oddly imitate the US constitution, while the US blocks extension of the US model (296).B. Reforms of rights and justice:1. Extend International Criminal Court2. Establish a permanent international or global truth commission3. Unclear what reparations to victims of economic corruption would look like (296-299).C. Economic reforms:1. New world debt-arbitration agency, al la domestic bankruptcy laws (299).2. Strategy of giving states MORE regulatory power, e.g. via the Tobin tax, a currency transaction tax:a. Controlling volatility of exchange ratesb. More control over their currencies and thus over their economies as a whole, allowing more redistributive policies (300)—puts too much faith in nation-states (300-1).4. Strategy of freeing up information by limiting copyright, promoting open-source software—the idea of a creation of the Common not of a Public (301-302).D. Biopolitical reforms:1. Alternative to the war system2. Kyoto Accord3. Global FCC (303-306).
IV. Back to the Eighteenth Century!A. The concept of democracy was not as corrupted then as now: challenge of reinventing the concept of democracy and creating new institutions adequate to modern society and the national space. If they did, we can too! (306-7).B. We need not an archaeology to unearth models of the past but something Foucault’s notion of genealogy: the subject creates new institutional and social models based on its own productive capacities (308-9). A New Science (or anti-science) of global democracy.C. TJ: ideas are enhanced by their communication: when I light my candle from yours both seem to burn brighter—immaterial property today is a main difference from the 18th c (311).
V. Excursus 3: Strategy: Geopolitics and New Alliances:A. Crisis of geopolitics: must adopt the US ideology of rejecting the European notion of fixed bordersB. Unilateral command and the Axis of Evil: but Europe, Russia, and China aren’t so easily fit into the US model.C. Contradictions: the US unilateral model is not working.D. A new Magna Charta? Like King John’s nobles the global aristocracies might be encouraged to revolt against US imperial control (322). Proposing alliances with the aristocracies for a program of counter-Empire?E. Iconoclasts: [a very odd digression on the iconoclasm controversy in the Eastern Church) (324-327).
3.3 Democracy of the Multitude
I. Sovereignty and Democracy:A. Sovereignty is a dual system: the ruler and consent (or revolt) of the ruled—it is a constant struggleB. Biopolitical production makes imperial sovereignty completely dependent on the productive social agents over which it rules (the Matrix needs us to survive).C. The choice is no longer between sovereignty and anarchy (328-336).
II. Ingenium Multitudinis: role of networks in the individual body, economic innovation in networks, organization of the multitude as something like a language—it produces real meanings (339). Its decision-making in common much like open-source production of software (34).
III. May the force be with you.A. Today democracy takes the form of subtraction, flight, exodus from sovereignty (but Pharaoh does not let the Israelites leave, we must remember) (341).B. Violence:1. must follow the Zapatista insistence of subordinating military violence to the political, not v.v. as in Cuban model (342);2. must always be defensive (343). Republican meaning of the 2nd amendment (oh, dear god. . ) (343).;3. use of violence must be organized democratically (345).4. critique of arms: reflection on which weapons today are effective and appropriate (345-6). Martyrdom as testimony (from Plutarch to Luther in the republican tradition) (346). Need for new weapons (biopolitical strike) (347).
IV. The New Science of Democracy: Madison and LeninA. Ontological standpoint: biopolitical nature of the multitude, creating a new social being, a new human nature (348-9).B. Sociological standpoint: new affective, cooperative, and communicative relationships of social production (349-50).C. Political standpoint: need to grasp love as a political concept, in understanding the constituent power of the multitudeD. The New Science:1. Challenge all existing forms of sovereignty as a precondition for establishing democracy, as in Lenin’s project of smashing the State2. But also need the institutional methods of the Federalist, which, after all, reflected Madison’s republican utopianism [WHOOP!]3. Need a new realism, a sense of timing (351-358).
Posted by jim at 03:57 PM | Comments (1)
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 6 July 2006 23:45 (thirteen years ago) link
But also need the institutional methods of the Federalist, which, after all, reflected Madison’s republican utopianism [WHOOP!]
how parecon institutions could fit as an alternative to that?
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Saturday, 8 July 2006 20:10 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 9 July 2006 03:09 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 12 July 2006 01:25 (thirteen years ago) link
Vinge makes two opening assumptions: no grand physical disaster occurs,and today's computing and communications trends continue.
He added a third trend: "The great conspiracy against human freedom." Asnovelist Doris Lessing has observed, barons on opposite sides of theriver don't need to be in cahoots if their interests coincide. In ourcase, defence, homeland security, financial crime enforcement, police,tax collectors and intellectual property rights holders offer reasons towant to control the hardware we use. Then there are geeks, who can betempted to forget the consequences if the technology is cool enough.Vinge quotes the most famous line from the comic strip Pogo: "We havemet the enemy, and he is us."
Vinge's technology to satisfy these groups' dreams is the SecureHardware Environment (She), which dedicates some bandwidth and a smallportion of every semiconductor for regulatory use. Deployment isprogressive, as standards are implemented. Built into new chips, Shewill spread inevitably through its predecessors' obsolescence.
This part is terribly plausible. It sounds much like the TrustedComputing Platform, implemented in Intel chips and built into machinesfrom Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens and others. Most people don't realise theirnew computer contains a chip designed to block the operation of anysoftware not certified by the group. Now enhance that and build it intoRFID chips, networked embedded systems, shrink and distribute as "smartdust". All are current trends or works in progress.
Geeks are willing to fight Trusted Computing on the grounds that itcould be used to block open-source software or to enforce draconiandigital rights management. But what if accepting it meant less visiblesecurity, less bureaucracy, even slight profit? She automatically sendstaxes, enables much less noticeable surveillance and gets you throughsecurity checkpoints with no waiting. There's less crime, becauselegislative reality can be enforced on physical reality. Fewer falseconvictions. Make regulation automatic, and it seems to go away. Newlaws can be downloaded as a regulatory upgrade.
"She," Vinge concluded at the conference, "fits the trajectory thateconomics and technical progress are following. The infrastructure forsuch control will probably arrive in any case." He also calls hisscenario optimistic.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 12 July 2006 01:39 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 12 July 2006 01:58 (thirteen years ago) link
"The illusion of freedom becomes a strange thing when a government isdealing with ... thousands of people who are as bright as the smartestpeople running the government. Together, they outclass the peoplerunning the show. The turning point is the notion that to provide thisillusion of freedom for such a group would wind up being more like realfreedom than anything in human history." Or, as he thinks Pogo might sayfor the 21st century, "We have met what's going to save our ass and itis us."
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 12 July 2006 01:59 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Friday, 14 July 2006 02:42 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Saturday, 15 July 2006 02:53 (thirteen years ago) link
Since the online version of the book is available at author YochaiBenkler's site under a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial -ShareAlike license, I've remixed several of my favorite parts of thebook into an essay, which hopefully conveys some of the essence ofBenkler's subtle and insightful work.***
For all of us, there comes a time on any given day, week, and month,every year and in different degrees over our lifetimes, when we chooseto act in some way that is oriented toward fulfilling our social andpsychological needs, not our market-exchangeable needs. It is thatpart of our lives and our motivational structure that socialproduction taps, and on which it thrives.
There is nothing mysterious about this. It is evident to any of us whorush home to our family or to a restaurant or bar with friends at theend of a workday, rather than staying on for another hour of overtimeor to increase our billable hours; or at least regret it when wecannot. It is evident to any of us who has ever brought a cup of teato a sick friend or relative, or received one; to anyone who has lenta hand moving a friendâ€™s belongings; played a game; told a joke, orenjoyed one told by a friend.
What needs to be understood now, however, is under what conditionsthese many and diverse social actions can turn into an importantmodality of economic production. When can all these acts, distinctfrom our desire for money and motivated by social and psychologicalneeds, be mobilized, directed, and made effective in ways that werecognize as economically valuable?
Human beings are, and always have been, diversely motivated beings. Weact for material gain, but also for psychological well-being andgratification, and for social connectedness. There is nothing new orearth-shattering about this, except perhaps to some economists.
In the industrial economy in general, and the industrial informationeconomy as well, most opportunities to make things that were valuableand important to many people were constrained by the physical capitalrequirements of making them. From the steam engine to the assemblyline, from the double-rotary printing press to the communicationssatellite, the capital constraints on action were such that simplywanting to do something was rarely a sufficient condition to enableone to do it. Financing the necessary physical capital, in turn,oriented the necessarily capital-intensive projects toward aproduction and organizational strategy that could justify theinvestments. In market economies, that meant orienting toward marketproduction. In state-run economies, that meant orienting productiontoward the goals of the state bureaucracy. In either case, thepractical individual freedom to cooperate with others in making thingsof value was limited by the extent of the capital requirements ofproduction.
In the networked information economy, the physical capital requiredfor production is broadly distributed throughout society. Personalcomputers and network connections are ubiquitous. This does not meanthat they cannot be used for markets, or that individuals cease toseek market opportunities. It does mean, however, that wheneversomeone, somewhere, among the billion connected human beings, andultimately among all those who will be connected, wants to makesomething that requires human creativity, a computer, and a networkconnection, he or she can do so â€" alone, or in cooperation withothers. He or she already has the capital capacity necessary to do so;if not alone, then at least in cooperation with other individualsacting for complementary reasons.
The result is that a good deal more that human beings value can now bedone by individuals, who interact with each other socially, as humanbeings and as social beings, rather than as market actors through theprice system. Sometimes, under conditions I specify in some detail,these nonmarket collaborations can be better at motivating effort andcan allow creative people to work on information projects moreefficiently than would traditional market mechanisms and corporations.The result is a flourishing nonmarket sector of information,knowledge, and cultural production, based in the networkedenvironment, and applied to anything that the many individualsconnected to it can imagine. Its outputs, in turn, are not treated asexclusive property. They are instead subject to an increasingly robustethic of open sharing, open for all others to build on, extend, andmake their own.
If there is one lesson we can learn from globalization and theever-increasing reach of the market, it is that the logic of themarket exerts enormous pressure on existing social structures. If weare indeed seeing the emergence of a substantial component ofnonmarket production at the very core of our economic engine - theproduction and exchange of information, and through it ofinformation-based goods, tools, services, and capabilities - then thischange suggests a genuine limit on the extent of the market. Such alimit, growing from within the very market that it limits, in its mostadvanced loci, would represent a genuine shift in direction for whatappeared to be the ever-increasing global reach of the market economyand society in the past half-century.
I treat property and markets as just one domain of human action, withaffordances and limitations. Their presence enhances freedom alongsome dimensions, but their institutional requirements can becomesources of constraint when they squelch freedom of action in nonmarketcontexts. Calibrating the reach of the market, then, becomes centralnot only to the shape of justice or welfare in a society, but also tofreedom.
What we are seeing now is the emergence of more effective collectiveaction practices that are decentralized but do not rely on either theprice system or a managerial structure for coordination. This kind ofinformation production by agents operating on a decentralized,nonproprietary model is not completely new. Science is built by manypeople contributing incrementally â€" not operating on market signals,not being handed their research marching orders by a boss â€"independently deciding what to research, bringing their collaborationtogether, and creating science. What we see in the networkedinformation economy is a dramatic increase in the importance and thecentrality of information produced in this way.
No benevolent historical force will inexorably lead thistechnological-economic moment to develop toward an open, diverse,liberal equilibrium. If the transformation I describe as possibleoccurs, it will lead to substantial redistribution of power and moneyfrom the twentieth-century industrial producers of information,culture, and communications â€" like Hollywood, the recording industry,and perhaps the broadcasters and some of the telecommunicationsservices giants â€" to a combination of widely diffuse populationsaround the globe, and the market actors that will build the tools thatmake this population better able to produce its own informationenvironment rather than buying it ready-made.
None of the industrial giants of yore are taking this reallocationlying down. The technology will not overcome their resistance throughan insurmountable progressive impulse. The reorganization ofproduction and the advances it can bring in freedom and justice willemerge, therefore, only as a result of social and political actionaimed at protecting the new social patterns from the incumbentsâ€™assaults. It is precisely to develop an understanding of what is atstake and why it is worth fighting for that I write this book.
Imagine three storytelling societies: the Reds, the Blues, and theGreens. Each society follows a set of customs as to how they live andhow they tell stories. Among the Reds and the Blues, everyone is busyall day, and no one tells stories except in the evening. In theevening, in both of these societies, everyone gathers in a big tent,and there is one designated storyteller who sits in front of theaudience and tells stories. It is not that no one is allowed to tellstories elsewhere. However, in these societies, given the timeconstraints people face, if anyone were to sit down in the shade inthe middle of the day and start to tell a story, no one else wouldstop to listen.
Among the Reds, the storyteller is a hereditary position, and he orshe alone decides which stories to tell. Among the Blues, thestoryteller is elected every night by simple majority vote. Everymember of the community is eligible to offer him- or herself as thatnightâ€™s storyteller, and every member is eligible to vote.
Among the Greens, people tell stories all day, and everywhere.Everyone tells stories. People stop and listen if they wish, sometimesin small groups of two or three, sometimes in very large groups.Stories in each of these societies play a very important role inunderstanding and evaluating the world. They are the way peopledescribe the world as they know it. They serve as testing grounds toimagine how the world might be, and as a way to work out what is goodand desirable and what is bad and undesirable.
Now consider Ron, Bob, and Gertrude, individual members of the Reds,Blues, and Greens, respectively. Ronâ€™s perception of the options opento him and his evaluation of these options are largely controlled bythe hereditary storyteller. He can try to contact the storyteller topersuade him to tell different stories, but the storyteller is thefigure who determines what stories are told. To the extent that thesestories describe the universe of options Ron knows about, thestoryteller defines the options Ron has.
Bobâ€™s autonomy is constrained not by the storyteller, but by themajority of voters among the Blues. These voters select thestoryteller, and the way they choose will affect Bobâ€™s access tostories profoundly. If the majority selects only a small group ofentertaining, popular, pleasing, or powerful (in some other dimension,like wealth or political power) storytellers, then Bobâ€™s perception ofthe range of options will be only slightly wider than Ronâ€™s, if atall. The locus of power to control Bobâ€™s sense of what he can andcannot do has shifted. It is not the hereditary storyteller, butrather the majority.
Gertrude is in a very different position. First, she can decide totell a story whenever she wants to, subject only to whether there isany other Green who wants to listen. She is free to become an activeproducer except as constrained by the autonomy of other individualGreens. Second, she can select from the stories that any other Greenwishes to tell, because she and all those surrounding her can sit inthe shade and tell a story. No one person, and no majority, determinesfor her whether she can or cannot tell a story. No one canunilaterally control whose stories Gertrude can listen to. And no onecan determine for her the range and diversity of stories that will beavailable to her from any other member of the Greens who wishes totell a story.
How, one might worry, can a system of information production enhancethe ability of an individual to author his or her life, if it isimpossible to tell whether this or that particular story or piece ofinformation is credible, or whether it is relevant to the individualâ€™sparticular experience? Will individuals spend all their time siftingthrough mounds of inane stories and fairy tales, instead of evaluatingwhich life is best for them based on a small and manageable set ofcredible and relevant stories?
Having too much information with no real way of separating the wheatfrom the chaff forms what we might call the Babel objection.Individuals must have access to some mechanism that sifts through theuniverse of information, knowledge, and cultural mores in order towhittle them down to a manageable and usable scope. The question thenbecomes whether the networked information economy, given the humanneed for filtration, actually improves the information environment ofindividuals relative to the industrial information economy.
There are three elements to the answer: First, as a baseline, it isimportant to recognize the power that inheres in the editorialfunction. The extent to which information overload inhibits autonomyrelative to the autonomy of an individual exposed to a well-editedinformation flow depends on how much the editor who whittles down theinformation flow thereby gains power over the life of the user of theeditorial function, and how he or she uses that power. Second, thereis the question of whether users can select and change their editorfreely, or whether the editorial function is bundled with othercommunicative functions and sold by service providers among whichusers have little choice.
Finally, there is the understanding that filtration and accreditationare themselves information goods, like any other, and that they toocan be produced on a commons-based, nonmarket model, and thereforewithout incurring the autonomy deficit that a reintroduction ofproperty to solve the Babel objection would impose. From thediscussions of Wikipedia to the moderation and metamoderation schemeof Slashdot, and from the sixty thousand volunteers that make up theOpen Directory Project to the PageRank system used by Google, themeans of filtering data are being produced within the networkedinformation economy using peer production and the coordinate patternsof nonproprietary production more generally.
Developments in network topology theory and its relationship to thestructure of the empirically mapped real Internet offer a map of thenetworked information environment that is quite different from thenaive model of "everyone a pamphleteer." To the limited extent thatthese findings have been interpreted for political meaning, they havebeen seen as a disappointment â€" the real world, as it turns out, doesnot measure up to anything like that utopia. However, that is thewrong baseline. There never has been a complex, large modern democracyin which everyone could speak and be heard by everyone else. Thecorrect baseline is the one-way structure of the commercial mass media.
The networked information economy makes individuals better able to dothings for and by themselves, and makes them less susceptible tomanipulation by others than they were in the mass-media culture. Inthis sense, the emergence of this new set of technical, economic,social, and institutional relations can increase the relative rolethat each individual is able to play in authoring his or her own life.
The networked information economy also promises to provide a much morerobust platform for public debate. It enables citizens to participatein public conversation continuously and pervasively, not as passiverecipients of â€œreceived wisdomâ€? from professional talking heads, butas active participants in conversations carried out at many levels ofpolitical and social structure. Individuals can find out more aboutwhat goes on in the world, and share it more effectively with others.They can check the claims of others and produce their own, and theycan be heard by others, both those who are like-minded and opponents.
Whether their actions are in the domain of political organization(like the organizers of MoveOn.org), or of education and professionalattainment (as with the case of Jim Cornish, who decided to create aworldwide center of information on the Vikings from his fifth-gradeschoolroom in Gander, Newfoundland), the networked informationenvironment opens new domains for productive life that simply were notthere before. In doing so, it has provided us with new ways to imagineour lives as productive human beings.
Writing a free operating system or publishing a free encyclopedia mayhave seemed quixotic a mere few years ago, but these are now far fromdelusional. Human beings who live in a material and social contextthat lets them aspire to such things as possible for them to do, intheir own lives, by themselves and in loose affiliation with others,are human beings who have a greater realm for their agency. We canlive a life more authored by our own will and imagination than by thematerial and social conditions in which we find ourselves.
How will the emergence of a substantial sector of nonmarket,commons-based production in the information economy affect questionsof distribution and human well-being? The pessimistic answer is, verylittle. Hunger, disease, and deeply rooted racial, ethnic, or classstratification will not be solved by a more decentralized,nonproprietary information production system. Without clean water,basic literacy, moderately well-functioning governments, and universalpractical adoption of the commitment to treat all human beings asfundamentally deserving of equal regard, the fancy Internet-basedsociety will have little effect on the billions living in poverty ordeprivation, either in the rich world, or, more urgently and deeply,in poor and middle-income economies.
Despite the caution required in overstating the role that thenetworked information economy can play in solving issues of justice,it is important to recognize that information, knowledge, and cultureare core inputs into human welfare. Agricultural knowledge andbiological innovation are central to food security. Medical innovationand access to its fruits are central to living a long and healthylife. Literacy and education are central to individual growth, todemocratic self-governance, and to economic capabilities. Economicgrowth itself is critically dependent on innovation and information.
For all these reasons, information policy has become a criticalelement of development policy and the question of how societies attainand distribute human welfare and well-being. Access to knowledge hasbecome central to human development.
Proprietary rights are designed to elicit signals of peopleâ€™swillingness and ability to pay. In the presence of extremedistribution differences like those that characterize the globaleconomy, the market is a poor measure of comparative welfare. A systemthat signals what innovations are most desirable and rations access tothese innovations based on ability, as well as willingness, to pay,over-represents welfare gains of the wealthy and under-representswelfare gains of the poor. Twenty thousand American teenagers cansimply afford, and will be willing to pay, much more for acnemedication than the more than a million Africans who die of malariaevery year can afford to pay for a vaccine.
The emergence of commons-based techniques â€" particularly, of an openinnovation platform that can incorporate farmers and local agronomistsfrom around the world into the development and feedback processthrough networked collaboration platforms â€" promises the most likelyavenue to achieve research oriented toward increased food security inthe developing world.
It promises a mechanism of development that will not increase therelative weight and control of a small number of commercial firms thatspecialize in agricultural production. It will instead release theproducts of innovation into a self-binding commons â€" one that isinstitutionally designed to defend itself against appropriation. Itpromises an iterative collaboration platform that would be able tocollect environmental and local feedback in the way that a freesoftware development project collects bug reports â€" through acontinuous process of networked conversation among the user-innovatorsthemselves.
Laboratories have two immensely valuable resources that may be capableof being harnessed to peer production. Most important by far arepostdoctoral fellows. These are the same characters who populate somany free software projects, only geeks of a different feather. Theyare at a similar life stage. They have the same hectic, overworkedlives, and yet the same capacity to work one more hour on somethingelse, something interesting, exciting, or career enhancing, like aspecial grant announced by the government.
The other resources that have overcapacity might be thought of aspetri dishes, or if that sounds too quaint and old-fashioned,polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines or electrophoresis equipment.The point is simple. Laboratory funding currently is silo-based. Eachlab is usually funded to have all the equipment it needs forrun-of-the-mill work, except for very large machines operated ontime-share principles. Those machines that are redundantly provisionedin laboratories have downtime. That downtime coupled with apostdoctoral fellow in the lab is an experiment waiting to happen. Ifa group that is seeking to start a project defines discrete modules ofa common experiment, and provides a communications platform to allowpeople to download project modules, perform them, and upload results,it would be possible to harness the overcapacity that exists inlaboratories.
In principle, although this is a harder empirical question, the samecould be done for other widely available laboratory materials and evenanimals for preclinical trials on the model of, â€œbrother, can youspare a mouse?â€? One fascinating proposal and early experiment at theUniversity of Indiana - Purdue University Indianapolis was suggestedby William Scott, a chemistry professor. Scott proposed developingsimple, low-cost kits for training undergraduate students in chemicalsynthesis, but which would use targets and molecules identified bycomputational biology as potential treatments for developing-worlddiseases as their output. With enough redundancy across differentclassrooms and institutions around the world, the results could beverified while screening and synthesizing a significant number ofpotential drugs. The undergraduate educational experience couldactually contribute to new experiments, as opposed simply tosynthesizing outputs that are not really needed by anyone.
In February 2001, the humanitarian organization Doctors WithoutBorders (also known as Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) asked YaleUniversity, which held the key South African patent on stavudine â€" oneof the drugs then most commonly used in combination therapies â€"forpermission to use generic versions in a pilot AIDS treatment program.At the time, the licensed version of the drug, sold byBristol-Myers-Squibb (BMS), cost $1,600 per patient per year. Ageneric version, manufactured in India, was available for $47 perpatient per year.
At that point in history, thirty-nine drug manufacturers were suingthe South African government to strike down a law permittingimportation of generics in a health crisis, and no drug company hadyet made concessions on pricing in developing nations. Within weeks ofreceiving MSFâ€™s request, Yale negotiated with BMS to secure the saleof stavudine for fifty-five dollars a year in South Africa. Yale, theUniversity of California at Berkeley, and other universities have, inthe years since, entered into similar adhoc agreements with regard todeveloping-world applications or distribution of drugs that depend ontheir patented technologies. These successes provide a template for amuch broader realignment of how universities use their patentportfolios to alleviate the problems of access to medicines indeveloping nations.
A technology transfer officer who has successfully provided aroyalty-free license to a nonprofit concerned with developing nationshas no obvious metric in which to record and report the magnitude ofher success (saving X millions of lives or displacing Y misery),unlike her colleague who can readily report X millions of dollars froma market-oriented license, or even merely Y dozens of patents filed.Universities must consider more explicitly their special role in theglobal information and knowledge production system. If they recommitto a role focused on serving the improvement of the lot of humanity,rather than maximization of their revenue stream, they should adapttheir patenting and licensing practices appropriately.
The rise of commons-based information production, of individuals andloose associations producing information in nonproprietary forms,presents a genuine discontinuity from the industrial informationeconomy of the twentieth century. It brings with it great promise, andgreat uncertainty. We have early intimations as to how market-basedenterprises can adjust to make room for this newly emerging phenomenonâ€" IBMâ€™s adoption of open source, Second Lifeâ€™s adoption ofuser-created immersive entertainment, or Open Source TechnologyGroupâ€™s development of a platform for Slashdot.
We also have very clear examples of businesses that have decided tofight the new changes by using every trick in the book, and some, likeinjecting corrupt files into peer-to-peer networks, that are decidedlynot in the book. Law and regulation form one important domain in whichthese battles over the shape of our emerging information productionsystem are fought. As we observe these battles; as we participate inthem as individuals choosing how to behave and what to believe, ascitizens, lobbyists, lawyers, or activists; as we act out these legalbattles as legislators, judges, or treaty negotiators, it is importantthat we understand the normative stakes of what we are doing.
We have an opportunity to change the way we create and exchangeinformation, knowledge, and culture. By doing so, we can make thetwenty-first century one that offers individuals greater autonomy,political communities greater democracy, and societies greateropportunities for cultural self-reflection and human connection.
We can remove some of the transactional barriers to materialopportunity, and improve the state of human development everywhere.Perhaps these changes will be the foundation of a true transformationtoward more liberal and egalitarian societies. Perhaps they willmerely improve, in well-defined but smaller ways, human life alongeach of these dimensions. That alone is more than enough to justify anembrace of the networked information economy by anyone who valueshuman welfare, development, and freedom.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 16 July 2006 02:06 (thirteen years ago) link
The term is both descriptive and prescriptive. Typically, the kinds of enhancements sought by proponents of e-democracy are framed in terms of making processes more accessible; making citizen participation in public policy decision-making more expansive and direct so as to enable broader influence in policy outcomes as more individuals involved could yield smarter policies; increasing transparency and accountability; and keeping the government closer to the consent of the governed, increasing its political legitimacy. E-democracy includes within its scope electronic voting, but has a much wider span than this single aspect of the democratic process.
E-democracy is also sometimes referred to as cyberdemocracy or digital democracy. Prior to 1994, when the term e-democracy was coined in the midst of online civic efforts in Minnesota, the term teledemocracy was prevalent.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Monday, 17 July 2006 01:48 (thirteen years ago) link
Category: Cool | 3870 Views
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Monday, 17 July 2006 13:24 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Monday, 17 July 2006 13:26 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 19 July 2006 02:42 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 20 July 2006 02:33 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 20 July 2006 14:04 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 23 July 2006 02:36 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 23 July 2006 07:28 (thirteen years ago) link
One thing this is showing that is interesting is how Cyc is going forward touse google in processing and learning new information by using Google, andusing it to verify facts and knowledge.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 23 July 2006 07:49 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 23 July 2006 08:20 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Tuesday, 25 July 2006 01:57 (thirteen years ago) link
We've heard plenty about the tragedy of the commons --in fact, it pops up in several other chapters of this book. In the 1968 essay that popularized the concept, "The Tragedy of the Commons," Garrett Hardin wrote:
Therein is the tragedy. Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit -- in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons. Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.
In the case of certain ingeniously planned services, we find a contrasting cornucopia of the commons: use brings overflowing abundance. Peer-to-peer architectures and technologies may have their benefits, but I think the historical lesson is clear: concentrate on what you can get from users, and use whatever protocol can maximize their voluntary contributions. That seems to be where the greatest promise lies for the new kinds of collaborative environments. [Dan Bricklin: Cornucopia of the Commons, Peer-to-Peer, Chapter 4]
So for example, as I process my daily RSS inflow in Bloglines, it's very much in my own interest to put the few items of most value in a place where I can find them later. That I'm also putting them someplace where you can find them, that you may be doing the same thing for me, that we may collectively move toward standardized use of shared topics as we iterate this process, that reputation-based filtering may then begin to operate on the emergent set of topics -- all this is goodness, and may ultimately matter, but my participation (and yours) does not depend on these outcomes. Pure self-interest is a sufficient driver.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Tuesday, 25 July 2006 23:00 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Saturday, 29 July 2006 00:48 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Saturday, 29 July 2006 19:28 (thirteen years ago) link
"One cannot hope to prosper in such a world (art world) as a "conservative", and this may be why arts bureaucrats seem to have such a relentlessly progressive taste. They look first to the art that trumpets its own radical, non-commercial credentials when they are making funding decisions. The system is closed and clubbish, perpetuated by the terrorism of fashion - the dread of falling out with thein-crowd."
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 30 July 2006 18:02 (thirteen years ago) link
Even so, he longs for something bigger, like the cultural noise made by the Beats in the 1950’s or Andy Warhol’s Factory in the 1960’s or the bands and fans who clustered around CBGB’s in the 1970’s. He wants to “make history” and join “the time line” of New York. He is not an artist, an author, a designer, musician, filmmaker or even a famous skateboarder or graffiti writer. So in another era, Bondaroff might have had to settle for his cameos in some of the acclaimed images of youthful outsider debauchery captured by his photographer friend Ryan McGinley. He could be, in other words, a counterculture muse, like Neal Cassady or Edie Sedgwick.
In our present era, however, he may not have to settle. There’s a new alternative, one that’s neatly summed up in a question that A-Ron has been asking himself lately: “How do I turn my lifestyle into a business?”
The answer he came up with is worth paying attention to because it speaks to a significant but little-noted development in contemporary culture. Young people have always found fresh ways to rebel, express individuality or form subculture communities through cultural expression: new art, new music, new literature, new films, new forms of leisure or even whole new media forms. A-Ron’s preferred form of expression, however, is none of those things. When he talks about his chosen medium, which he calls aNYthing, it sounds as if he’s talking about an artists’ collective, indie film production company, a zine or a punk band. But in fact, aNYthing is a brand. A-Ron puts his brand on T-shirts and hats and other items, which he sells in his own store, among other places. He sees it as fundamentally of a piece with the projects and creations of his anti-mainstream heroes.
This might seem strange, since most of us think of branding as a thoroughly mainstream practice: huge companies buying advertising time during the Super Bowl to shout their trademarked names at us is pretty much the opposite of authentic or edgy expression. But branding is more complicated than that. It is really a process of attaching an idea to a product. Decades ago that idea might have been strictly utilitarian: trustworthy, effective, a bargain. Over time, the ideas attached to products have become more elaborate, ambitious and even emotional. This is why, for example, current branding campaigns for beer or fast food often seem to be making some sort of statement about the nature of contemporary manhood. If a product is successfully tied to an idea, branding persuades people — consciously or not — to consume the idea by consuming the product. Even companies like Apple and Nike, while celebrated for the tangible attributes of their products, work hard to associate themselves with abstract notions of nonconformity or achievement. A potent brand becomes a form of identity in shorthand.
Of course, companies don’t go into business in order to express a particular worldview and then gin up a product to make their point. Corporate branding is a function of the profit motive: companies have stuff to sell and hire experts to create the most compelling set of meanings to achieve that goal. A keen awareness of and cynicism toward this core fact of commercial persuasion — and the absurd lengths that corporations will go to in the effort to infuse their goods with, say, rebelliousness or youthful cool — is precisely the thing that is supposed to define the modern consumer. We all know that corporate branding is fundamentally a hustle. And guys like A-Ron are supposed to know that better than anybody.
Which is why the supposed counterculture nature of his brand might arouse some suspicion. Manufactured commodities are an artistic medium? Branding is a form of personal expression? Indie businesses are a means of dropping out? Turning your lifestyle into a business is rebellious?
And yet thousands and thousands of young people who are turned off by the world of shopping malls and Wal-Marts and who can’t bear the thought of a 9-to-5 job are pursuing a path similar to A-Ron’s. Some design furniture and housewares or leverage do-it-yourself-craft skills into businesses or simply convert their consumer taste into blog-enabled trend-spotting careers. Some make toys, paint sneakers or open gallerylike boutiques that specialize in the offerings of product-artists. Many of them clearly see what they are doing as not only noncorporate but also somehow anticorporate: making statements against the materialistic mainstream — but doing it with different forms of materialism. In other words, they see products and brands as viable forms of creative expression.
Through aNYthing, A-Ron sees himself as part of a “movement,” a brand underground. And maybe there is something going on here that can’t simply be dismissed just because of the apparent disconnect between the idea of a “brand” and the idea of an “underground.” After all, subcultures aren’t defined by outsiders passing judgment; they are defined by participants.
To try to understand this phenomenon and how it might play out, I sought a test-case category in which I could compare the experiences of several upstarts over time. The T-shirt, a simple commodity, seemed an ideal vessel. While some indie products are handmade, many more are, like T-shirts, manufactured goods that attract consumers largely through branding. Even with this single product as a framework, the variety is dizzying. Some T-shirt branders target high-end consumers, some are attached to the curious world of sneaker collecting and some are harder to categorize. Like A-Ron’s brand.
Bondaroff dropped out of high school at age 15 to spend more time partying, getting into trouble and hanging out with the people who were worth hanging out with. He ended up getting a job in Lower Manhattan at the Supreme store. Theoretically a skateboard brand, Supreme was really an attitude brand, and the store had a reputation as a place where clerks would insult you to your face if you weren’t cool enough. A-Ron was not only cool enough, he was photographed for Supreme ads and became its “unofficial face.” He offered his opinions about what would make the photo shoot work better or which underground artists the brand should work with. Supreme caught on in Japan, and by the time Bondaroff was 21, he was visiting Tokyo and getting asked for autographs by kids who had seen his picture in magazines. “I was always bugged out by that — people are like, ‘Oh, you’re that guy,”’ he told me not long ago. “You get famous for nothing.”
While still basically working a retail job, he was also becoming the cool guy who is flown to Australia to sit on a trend-setter panel or whose elaborate birthday party is underwritten by Nike. He was figuring out that he had the option of becoming, in effect, a corporate muse. But he concluded that there was no reason to rent his coolness and knowingness to other companies. The point of aNYthing was to turn his lifestyle into his own business.
He devised his brand not long after Sept. 11, 2001, and it is deeply tied to his love for New York City and his own status on the current downtown scene. The “NY” in the logo resembles that of the New York Giants football team, and aNYthing designs often blend familiar New York iconography (from The New York Post nameplate to Lotto signs) with the brand’s name. His boutique opened last year on Hester Street on the lower Lower East Side.
One reason an underground brand sounds nonsensical is that countercultures are supposed to oppose the mainstream, and nothing is more mainstream than consumerism. But we no longer live in a world of the Mainstream and the Counterculture. We live in a world of multiple mainstreams and countless counter-, sub- and counter-sub-cultures. Bondaroff’s brand is built on both the sort of microfame that such a finely cut cultural landscape enables and on his absolutely exquisite ability to analyze that landscape. He knows that he is seen by the various trend-hunters or Japanese magazine editors or marketing types who hit him up for the latest news as a professional Cool Guy. He recognizes that taste is his skill.
He and his friends have even turned downtown demographics into a kind of parlor game: there are Cool Guys and the Art-Damaged crowd, the Parent Haters, the Dropouts and so on. “I like to label all the different scenes,” he says. “I coin the phrase, and people use it, and it goes back to me.” In fact, he has a related set of T-shirts coming out in the fall. He called up his friend Futura, the veteran graffiti artist, and asked him to write “Cool Guys”; that will be one of the shirts. “I’m exposing everybody,” Bondaroff says, and includes himself in the critique. (“I’m definitely a Cool Guy — the top Cool Guy on the scene,” he said. “I’ll say it loud and proud.”) This is the quintessence of the postmodern brand rebel, hopscotching the minefield of creativity and commerce, recognizing the categorization, satirizing it, embracing it and commoditizing it all at once.
If A-Ron and his crew are the ideological descendants of the scenesters who clustered around Warhol in the Factory period or hung out at CB’s in its heyday, then perhaps they’re trying a new tactic in the eternal war against the corporate suits who co-opt the rebellion, style and taste of every youth culture and sell it right back to the generation that created it. Perhaps the first lesson of the brand underground is not that savvy young people will stop buying symbols of rebellion. It is that they have figured out that they can sell those symbols, too.
Daniel Casarella represents a second iteration of the brand underground. At 28, he is a young man who has something to say. Several years ago, he became fascinated with the gritty, turn-of-the-century New York underworld described in Luc Sante’s book on the era, “Low Life.” His brother, Michael, who is 23, was writing his college thesis about 19th-century New York literature, and the Casarellas came to believe that the depths of the forgotten past offered an intellectual antidote to the superficial, surface-driven present. The first time we met, in early 2005, Casarella told me the story of the Collect Pond in lower Manhattan: drained because of pollution in the early 1800’s, it was filled in and became the brutal Five Points slum. “My brother and I have this theory of the Collect being the original sin of Manhattan,” he said, launching into a riff on man’s betrayal of nature and its consequences.
He wanted to get these ideas across to others, but instead of writing a novel or making a series of paintings, he started making T-shirts. He learned screen printing at the Fashion Institute of Technology, but never considered actually joining the industry to work long hours for somebody else. Instead, in 2003, he founded Barking Irons — the name is 19th-century slang for pistols — a line of T-shirts with stark but intricate graphics that looked like old woodcuts, paired with mysterious phrases that refer back to the secret history of New York. One was inspired by the Collect Pond and another by a Washington Irving story. After he had printed some of his first designs, Casarella dropped off samples at Barneys in a paper bag.
A pricey department store doesn’t seem a likely place for expressing ideas, but the store’s buyer called him the next day. It turns out “new ideas” are exactly what the company was hungry for, according to Wanda Colon, a Barneys vice president. Its “young minded” Co-op spinoff stores cater to consumers who seek self-expression specifically through nonmainstream brands, like Gilded Age or Imitation of Christ, she said. Barking Irons got attention in the fashion trade press and on blogs like Coolhunting.com — and from an apparel distributor called Triluxe. A Triluxe executive told me that what the Barking Irons brand had going for it was “point of view.” Adam Beltzman, the owner of a Chicago store called Haberdash — one of many boutiques serving the same shoppers Colon describes — liked Barking Irons’ aesthetic, but what sold him on the brand were the background narratives. “There’s something meaningful behind it,” he says. “There’s something to talk about.” Soon Casarella was thinking way beyond T-shirts, and he projected confidence. From that first batch of a few hundred shirts in 2003, Barking Irons had seen its orders climb to 12,000 a season.
It is often said that this generation of teenagers and 20-somethings is the most savvy one ever in its ability to critique and understand commercial persuasion, and it is probably true — just as it was true when the same thing was said of Generation X and of the baby boomers before that. (And it will no doubt be true when it is said, again, of those now in middle school.) But understanding or “seeing through” the branded world is not the same thing as rejecting it. What bothers Casarella about mainstream branding are big, blatant logos that turn the wearer into a walking advertisement and are supposed to function as simplistic “badges.” That approach, he suggests, is what makes big brands as shallow as most Top 40 music or Hollywood movies. It is not that these forms are inherently bad; it is that they always seem built for the lowest common denominator, and the contemporary consumer demands more — more originality, more sincerity, more not-in-the-mainstream, a greater goal than just making money. That is what he sees Barking Irons as doing in the realm of the brand.
Barking Irons does have a logo, but it appears inside his T-shirts, where only the consumer sees it. That’s the way, Dan Casarella maintains, to make a deep connection. If it seems a little incongruous to combat superficiality by way of T-shirts that retail for $60 or more at Barneys or A-list boutiques, well, in his view, that’s the best place to find an audience that “gets it.” When Casarella declares that his project is part of a “revolution against branding,” what he really means is not the snuffing out of commercial expression but an elevation of it.
My third example of a grass-roots brand maker is the Hundreds. Its co-founder, Bobby Kim, is 26, one of three children of Korean parents who came to America and made good; his father is a physician. Growing up in multicultural Los Angeles, Kim was into hip-hop, punk and skateboarding. He is the kind of person that the marketing industry chases relentlessly, and he knows it. But of course he scorns mainstream efforts to speak to his generation. In an essay on his Web site, for example, he blasted the “commercialized” version of skateboarding culture that he sees in the X-Games or on MTV as a “big-industry ruse.”
Four years ago, he met Ben Shenassafar, another child of successful immigrants (his father is an accountant from Iran), not while skateboarding but at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, where they had some first-year classes together. They bonded over their mutual interests in art, music and design — and their mutual horror of becoming the respectable suit-wearing drones their parents wanted them to be. Seeking a more fulfilling alternative, they came up with the Hundreds (as in “selling by the hundreds”).
Now known as Bobby and Ben Hundreds, they started with T-shirts and a Web site. TheHundreds.com featured Bobby’s essays and interviews with people he admired: “The culture’s finest brands, artists, designers, photographers, retailers and media,” the site says. Department-store chains were too mainstream for the Hundreds; instead, they wanted to get their T-shirts into certain skateboard shops or independent “streetwear” stores. Their bête noir was Urban Outfitters, which they saw as the ultimate corporate vulture.
The first store they set their sights on was Fred Segal, the trendsetting boutique in Santa Monica. They showed up one day in 2003 and “ambushed” the buyer. “There are 50 new T-shirt lines that come out every day,” Bobby explained to me, so they knew that theirs would rise or fall on the strength of the Hundreds as a brand. “We really emphasized that we weren’t just a T-shirt line — we were more of lifestyle” that aimed to “bring this subculture out,” he says.
The Hundreds lifestyle and its components — Los Angeles, skateboarding, music, art — sound a little vague and may be most apparent by analyzing a recent Hundreds T-shirt graphic. The shirt has a title: Jerky Boy. The design takes the logo of Tommy Boy, the pioneering hip-hop label, and reimagines its three silhouette figures in the style of the moshing cartoon teenager used as an emblem of the legendary Southern California punk band the Circle Jerks. Looming over the Circle Jerks mascot, who is repeated in three Tommy Boy poses with props including skateboards and handguns, is “The Hundreds” and the phrase “California Culture.”
Streetwear designers often refer to graphics that riff off some other logo or icon or brand name as “parodies.” Kind of like the Ramones logo, which took the presidential seal but substituted a baseball bat for the arrows the eagle clutches in its talons. But the word “parody” can be misleading: often the visual references are more like a sampled bass line — recognizable to some but not to others — that makes a remix add up to more than the sum of its parts. It can be tribute or mockery or something in between, but the new cultural value that results accrues to the minibrand that did the remixing.
It is impossible to overstate the number of tiny streetwear brands with names like Crooks & Castles or Married to the Mob that are working variations on this territory. And it is easy to see the attraction for the new upstart branders that seem to jump into this realm every day. You don’t have to worry about the credentialing procedures that now define the traditional high arts, like getting a master’s degree from a well-connected art school or hobnobbing on the writer-retreat circuit. For people like Ben and Bobby Hundreds (or the Casarellas or A-Ron), you don’t even need to study marketing. Their apprenticeship was the act of growing up in a thoroughly commercialized world.
The symbols and references and logos these minibrands create are usually said to “represent” a culture or lifestyle. But I found myself asking, What, exactly, did that culture or lifestyle consist of — aside from buying products that represent it?
Bobby did his best to clue me in. “It’s just the idea of trying to be rebellious,” he said. “Or trying to be a little bit anti, questioning government or your parents. Trying to do something different.” Those are familiar answers, and this is hardly the first time that vague rebelliousness has been translated into an aesthetic. The style and iconography of punk, like that of other “spectacular subcultures” (to use the phrase Dick Hebdige coined in “Subculture: The Meaning of Style”), arguably did more than music — let alone ideas — to fulfill one of the crucial functions of any underground: group identity. It just happens that in this instance the symbols, products and brands aren’t an adjunct to the subculture — they are the subculture.
Many of the success stories that these minibrands aspire to replicate — like A Bathing Ape, Supreme and Stussy — have been around since the early 90’s or longer. Countless others have come and gone. Among the survivors are Lenny McGurr and Josh Franklin, better known as the graffiti writers Futura and Stash.
McGurr, who recently turned 50, has seen many iterations of the dance between subculture and mainstream. He made the transition from painting on subway cars to selling paintings in East Village galleries back in the 1980’s. The Futura-Stash creative partnership began around 1990. Separately and together, they made T-shirts, and they struggled to get by. Today, the brands and products they create or oversee — from clothes to vinyl toys to rugs and pillows — are sold in boutiques around the world. Franklin has his own stores, Recon and Nort, in New York, San Francisco, Tokyo and Berlin; Futura has stores in Fukuoka, Japan, and Bangkok. Futura and Stash’s Williamsburg headquarters is a rambling series of rooms filled with boxes of merchandise, 10 or so employees and a skate ramp.
One thing that has changed since the days when they scrambled to make a living is that Japanese consumers have embraced certain small New York brands as something culturally significant and worth a price premium. Nigo, a Japanese designer, built a fanatical following for his A Bathing Ape brand partly because he collaborated with so many graffiti writers and others who had an aura of authenticity that impressed young, hip Japanese consumers. “The legacy of our history from New York gave us a lot more credibility over there than it did here,” McGurr says. He compares it with the black jazz musicians who had to go to Paris to be appreciated.
The second change is technology, which has allowed production to become more accessible. (It is easier than you think for a two-person brand to work with factories overseas, using computer files and the occasional package.) The technology of the Internet has also acted as an amplifier. Ten years ago, a new T-shirt design could not be flashed around the planet minutes after completion. Now there are blogs like Hypebeast and Slam X Hype dedicated to this practice, reporting dozens of new products or design collaborations from the brand underground every day.
There is a third factor: manufactured commodities have in fact become accepted as quasi art objects, and there is no more stark example than the sneaker. Hunting for unusual sneakers and modifying them with markers or different laces has been cool for decades, a phenomenon defined in Harlem and the Bronx. (“We were the first generation, and only one, to enjoy sneaker consumption on our own terms,” Bobbito Garcia declares in his book about sneaker-hunting in the 1970’s and 80’s, “Where’d You Get Those?”) Eventually the sneaker companies began to cater to this market, manufacturing rarity through “limited editions,” commissioning small runs of sneakers made for specific stores or designed with the help of people like Mister Cartoon or Neckface. (If you don’t know who they are, these shoes aren’t for you.) Instead of stealing ideas from the underground, the big sneaker makers positioned themselves as supporting it. The strategy seems to work. Both Stash and Futura have designed co-branded products with Nike.
If sneakerheads were willing to treat athletic shoes made by multinational corporations as cultural objects, then new boutiques would treat them that way, too. Today, there are such boutiques all over the country; people sleep on sidewalks outside some of them because they have heard about some new limited-run product and want to be first in line for it. Occasionally things get out of hand and the police are called. There are magazines about sneakers, and there is a sneaker show on ESPN, and a sneaker Podcast called “Weekly Drop,” and a sneaker documentary, “Just for Kicks.” NikeTalk, a community and gossip Web site created by and for sneakerheads, claims to have more than 50,000 registered users.
Several years ago, some sneaker fans in Australia decided to mount a show of their collections, and this became Sneaker Pimps, which has been on a permanent world tour ever since. When it last hit New York several months ago, the line outside the club Avalon, where the sneakers were on display, stretched well down the block. Inside was a cross between a trade show, a museum exhibition and a night club. Walls were lined with notable sneakers, famous customizers were on hand and an artist named Dave White, who paints impressionistic portraits of sneakers on canvas, was on a platform, working under a spotlight while D.J.’s spun. Later, Public Enemy performed. Warhol’s Factory laid the foundation for giving consumer objects fine-art scrutiny, and Keith Haring’s Pop Shop built on that foundation, but it is hard to imagine that either artist could have predicted such a thorough product-as-medium spectacle. A line of Sneaker Pimps clothing is in the offing.
The effect of the Internet on sneaker hunting has been to make the scene more accessible — and more visible. With the Web, a relative handful of fanatics scattered around the world can look like a scene, and if enough people buy into that idea, then eventually it becomes a scene. This has created a new layer — half-consumer, half-entrepreneur — who snap up hot commodities with the sole intention of reselling at a profit. A T-shirt that Futura or Stash designed 10 years ago, made in small numbers because that was all the market would support, might now trade hands on eBay for $100; today some of the most successful minibrands keep production runs well below demand to maintain an image of specialness and rarity (just as the sneaker giants do). You can say the Internet made the market or that it simply made the market visible, but these are the same thing. Nothing draws people like a crowd, virtual or otherwise.
TheHundreds.com is not fancy, but it makes clever use of technology. The site is regularly updated with gossip from the scene and pictures of the Hundreds’ friends (and of parties and girls). There might be a clip from YouTube, the video-sharing Web site, of an evening news report on the crowd lining up to get the latest Stash-Nike collaboration from a boutique in San Francisco or of local teenage skaters showing off in free Hundreds T’s. Bobby also has a MySpace page and more than 3,500 “friends” (in the MySpace sense of the word). “I don’t want us to be a faceless entity,” he says. “People can talk to us.”
People like Scott Litel, for instance. The Hundreds barely existed when he found their site and sent an enthusiastic e-mail message asking to be part of their promotional “street team.” He was 16 at the time, just another kid in Valencia, 40 miles north of Los Angeles. He listened to punk and hip-hop, preferring to seek out lesser-known acts. But skateboarding was basically the center of his social life. Through skate videos, magazines like Mass Appeal, which covers alternative culture, and then the Internet, he learned about Supreme and various Japanese apparel companies. He would make his mom drive him, or when she wouldn’t, he would take a bus to the Union store in Los Angeles, where the coolest stuff was sold.
Litel liked the Hundreds because of the Southern California connection and because it wasn’t a brand that everybody knew about. It was like hearing a great band before anybody else caught on, the familiar yet underrated pleasure of inside information. “When something’s not made for the masses,” Litel told me, “it’s more personal.”
Soon he was part of the Hundreds team, helping out however he could, spreading the word, just being around. By the time I met Scott earlier this year, Ben and Bobby had started to pay him and had given him a column on the Web site. Now 19, he loved talking to the people at the little stores that sold the Hundreds shirts, going to the events and being part of the community — being, in fact, as he is now known, Scotty Hundreds.
Even in a world where the mainstream is less than monolithic, every subculture sooner or later has to reconcile itself with the larger cultural forces around it. A movement has to move somewhere, and the scene makers have to figure out how to make a living. That is what the Retail Mafia was up to last year at Magic, an apparel trade show that filled the entire Las Vegas Convention Center, with an impressive booth arranged to resemble a Coney Island boardwalk. The Retail Mafia was an alliance of brands associated with the downtown New York scene, including Alife, SSUR — and aNYthing, A-Ron’s brand. Boost Mobile, the West Coast wireless company, had just produced a set of limited-edition phones, co-branded with the Retail Mafia members, as an elaborate strategy to impress “influencers,” which is what corporate America calls Cool Guys.
Stash and Futura had a booth across from the Retail Mafia, and the Hundreds were nearby as well. Instead of displaying their shirts, Ben and Bobby had them on a rack blocked by a table and covered by a sheet. Ben explained that the point wasn’t how many stores they could sell to but which stores. This sounds like a strategy borrowed from luxury goods, but the Hundreds framed it as a matter of integrity: the sheet was there to fend off retail buyers representing stores that stocked too many mainstream brands. The Hundreds brand was being sold in about 60 stores, from New York to Paris to Tokyo, and what mattered was that they were the right kind of stores, stocked with other independent, properly underground brands. They would only lift the sheet for people they could trust.
In his 1934 memoir, “Exile’s Return,” Malcolm Cowley asserted that by 1920 the bohemian “doctrine” of Greenwich Village could be broken down to eight key points. Several of these remain fairly timeless markers of counterculture: liberty, living for the moment, protecting one’s individuality from the common fate of being “crushed and destroyed by a standardized society.” Each person’s “purpose in life,” the codification states, “is to express himself.” Cowley wrote that the bohemians saw themselves standing in opposition to “the business-Christian ethic then represented by The Saturday Evening Post,” a mainstream valuing “industry, foresight, thrift and personal initiative.”
But that old-fashioned value system, Cowley argued, shifted to a consumption ethic of spending and leisure, and the bohemian doctrine, it turned out, “proved quite useful” to the new mainstream ethic. Cowley posited that bohemian ideas about the primacy of self-expression and living for the moment “encouraged a demand for all sorts of products — modern furniture, beach pajamas, cosmetics, colored bathrooms with toilet paper to match.” The shift, he wrote, happened shortly after World War I. So for 80 years or more, the central problem of consumer culture and counterculture has been the same: it is very easy to confuse the two. Which is why, actually, Cowley was not so much praising the bohemian idea as scorning it.
Every subsequent counterculture has wrestled with the same basic predicaments, although the terms of the debate have, gradually, evolved. Punk’s media moment passed by the early 80’s, but it helped inspire a new counterculture, sketched by the music critic Ann Powers in her pop-culture memoir, “Weird Like Us.” She described how under-the-radar fliers and fanzines, small record labels and other modes and tactics “coalesced into practices that went by names bluntly characterizing their hands-on approach: indie, for independent, or D.I.Y., or do-it yourself.” The hip-hop and skateboarding subcultures operated in much the same way. And while Powers has less to say about the visual arts, a generation of designers and graffiti artists in cities and suburbs across America — Barry McGee, Mark Gonzales, Kaws, Ryan McGinness and others — built reputations outside the gallery world and under these very influences.
In “Beautiful Losers,” a catalog for a traveling museum exhibition of those artists, Aaron Rose, a curator, points out that pretty much all the artists in the show “have at some point broken the law to express themselves.” On the other hand, Rose points out that many of these artists have dabbled in the commercial world, whether accepting projects for big companies or becoming de facto brands unto themselves. The 1980’s and early 90’s was a time when certain record shops, small record labels (Sub Pop, SST, etc.) and even logos (like the artist Raymond Pettibon’s for the L.A. punk band Black Flag) started to matter almost as much as the bands. And while some brand-underground participants cite the influence of hip-hop as evidence that their tastes transcend standard demographic categorization (it’s a “mash culture” or a “merge culture” and so on), the real significance of that influence may be that no other spectacular subculture has so exuberantly venerated the leveraging of nonmainstream authenticity into entrepreneurial and material success.
If the dance between subculture and mainstream has always been more compromised than it appears and if every iteration of the bohemian idea is steadily more entrepreneurial than the last, then maybe a product-based counterculture is inevitable. Maybe subcultures are always about turning lifestyles into business — or the very similar goal of never having to grow up. Maybe the familiar corporations-against-individuals dynamic (“They manufacture lifestyle; we live lives,” as The Baffler, the alt-opinion journal, declared in 1993) is simply outdated. In “Weird Like Us,” Powers wrote, “I believe that alternative America becomes stronger by willingly engaging with the mainstream.” Maybe that’s what this optimistic generation is up to and maybe its strategy of engagement is simply more pragmatic than the carefully crafted cynicism of past cliques of self-styled outsiders.
Actually, I’m not sure I completely buy that. Refusing to be the fodder for someone else’s lifestyle-making machine because you are building your own still strikes me as a hollow victory. But maybe I’m just too old to get it. And I have to admit, the more time I spent with the minibrand entrepreneurs, the more I had to concede that what they have been up to is more complicated than simply imitating the culture they claim to be rebelling against. They believe what they are doing has meaning beyond simple commercial success. For them, there is something fully legitimate about taking the traditional sense of branding and reversing it: instead of dreaming up ideas to attach to products, they are starting with ideas and then dreaming up the products to express them.
When I saw Ben and Bobby with their collection at Magic, the trade show in Las Vegas, they had just taken the bar exam. Their parents — who wanted their kids to take advantage of the American-dream opportunities offered by a good education — were disheartened that the Hundreds was looking less and less like a phase. Of course, to Ben and Bobby, the Hundreds is the American dream.
The thought of ending up a lawyer, stuck in the mainstream world in such a decisive way and forsaking the partying and hanging out with other people involved in the brand-underground scene, had been much on Bobby’s mind as he worked on new designs. He came up with a shirt that borrowed the silhouettes of the Lost Boys from a Peter Pan cartoon, included a quote from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and tweaked the results into a starker, streety style by the inevitable inclusion of the Hundreds logo.
A few months later, they got the official word: they had both flunked the bar. Ben sent out the specs for the spring ’06 line; orders climbed to 4,500 shirts. “We never have to grow up,” Bobby said.
Barking Irons popped up in GQ, Elle Girl, Maxim and elsewhere. The main character (played by Adrian Grenier) on the HBO show “Entourage” wore a Barking Irons shirt, and this fact was reported in People magazine. Late last year, the brand went global: a friend of the brothers’ helped coordinate a miniature trade show in Tokyo, leading to their first sales to Japanese retailers and a full-page spread in a Japanese shopping magazine. The Casarellas included a few more point-of-view brands like No Mas, whose T-shirts and other products explore the deeper meanings of sports culture. And they traveled to Turkey, where they had found an apparel factory to manufacture “better garments,” like polo shirts, thermals, hoodies and belts.
The brothers felt they needed to expand quickly, they told me late last year, because imitators were already at their heels. Daniel showed me a magazine page featuring one of their T-shirts along with several other shirts that knocked off their visual style but paired the graphics with words and phrases like “Crap” or “This Sucks.” This was one of Casarella’s fears: competing against a dumbed-down, meaningless version of his own ideas. Meanwhile, the relationship with Triluxe, their distributor, collapsed. Such firms promote and distribute apparel brands, showing their wares at trade shows and in private showrooms, advising them on sourcing and pricing strategies and taking a cut of the money. The brothers had decided that based on some belated research, they were paying too big a cut. After months of bickering, the partnership melted down for good in April.
By then the brothers had signed a lease on a 3,000-square-foot space on the fourth floor of a building downtown on Bowery, below Delancey. When I visited in May, it seemed like an awful lot of room for a two-or-three-person company. A few antique pieces were lying around, some framed maps, a trunk, a barrel, a fitting dummy. The plan is to turn the back half of the space into a showroom, possibly pulling in some other brands. They were also plotting a Web site — part magazine, part online store for selling some of the antiques they have collected. But the better-garment orders were around half of the minimums that the Turkish factory required, and in late June they were still waiting for deliveries that they had hoped to have a month earlier. T-shirt orders had been around 10,000 — a slight decline from the previous year. The trend-spotting blogs that helped early on had moved on to spotting more upstart brands, with new points of view. Lately, Daniel was suffering from headaches that he couldn’t seem to shake.
One thing that makes these upstarts harder to write off than the familiar waves of M.B.A.’s declaring that Internet companies are rebellious or that being a middle-management “change agent” is the new rock ’n’ roll is that, for all the literal and figurative headaches, they are sticking to their ideas. It just happens that their ideas are tied up in products. The Casarellas are now making jewelry out of some vintage New York silverware pieces they have collected. And printed inside their branded garments is a Walt Whitman quote: “Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.”
In March, the Hundreds had a breakthrough. Their spring ’06 line, still dominated by T-shirts, included a hoodie with an all-over paisley print. The day these arrived, a number of their cool-guy friends dropped by the new office space they had rented in West Hollywood; Bobby took pictures and posted them on TheHundreds.com. One of these images ended up on the front page of Hype Beast, the streetwear blog. Bobby put the whole line up for sale on the Web site at 1:30 in the morning; then he turned off his cellphone and went to bed. A few hours later, his girlfriend was pounding on the door of his apartment. Ben, unable to reach Bobby, had called her with the news: the entire line had sold out. Bobby posted a new entry on the site: “Which one of you sickos is up at 4 a.m. buying T-shirts?”
Soon the paisley hoodies were going for $250 or more on eBay, two or three times the retail price. Of course, Ben and Bobby had only made about 500 of them and under the orthodoxy of the scene would look like sellouts if they manufactured more. (Ben’s accountant father has softened on the Hundreds as a potential business, but couldn’t understand why they didn’t make more of those “stupid paisley hoodies,” Ben says.) A few weeks later, the retail consulting firm Doneger, whose clients include major department-store chains, sent out a bulletin called “Streetwear — The Next Generation,” naming brands that trendsetting kids in New York City were wearing. The list included Nike and Stussy, but also upstarts like Artful Dodger, Triko. . .and the Hundreds. Their summer ’06 T-shirt orders were up to 10,000.
Not surprisingly, the Hundreds were optimistic; Bobby talked about the brand being around “for centuries.” On the site, he posted pictures of the latest line outside Supreme: “It’s a great sign for our industry/culture/scene/whatever-it-is. It shows how fast we’re all growing. . .another notch for the independents.” In a way, the primary goal that binds together all the disparate entities of the new brand underground is independence: the Next Big Thing will be a million small things.
Even so, sometimes Bobby felt as if something were missing. When he talked about it, he seemed to be grappling with the kinds of things that had bothered me earlier when I had been trying to figure out whether there was more to the Hundreds lifestyle than buying certain products and brands. “I kind of feel like these kids — all they know is sneaker collecting and buying T-shirts, and they don’t think about anything else. Every T-shirt brand is just something stupid — a rapper and some guns.” Bobby said he wanted to steer the Hundreds look in a more “socially conscious, activist-oriented” direction, maybe dealing with issues like the way efforts to defend freedom can curtail freedom. Now that the Hundreds has a voice and a following, he said, “I’d like to say something.”
Just like his subculture and bohemian heroes, A-Ron has an uneasy relationship with the commercial mainstream and its representatives. He sees his brand as something apart from the sneakerhead world, let alone fancy department stores. “I ran into the Boost guys recently,” Bondaroff told me some months after the phone-marketing stunt had ended, “and I told them I wasn’t really happy with the project. It didn’t change anybody’s lives; it didn’t make history.” Maybe it helped Boost, since the phones were written up in Rolling Stone and other magazines, but it hadn’t helped him. The Retail Mafia basically ceased to exist as a concept, and half the brands in what he called “the movement” were scrambling to work with the sneaker giants or other big brands, from Levi’s to New Era. “We’re independent brands, we did this for a reason, not to be like the establishment brands,” he said. “It’s, like, what’s the purpose? Why’d you start your brand — just to be an offshoot of a major company?”
But while A-Ron has figured out how to turn his lifestyle into a business, it is still not a business with much scale. “I don’t want to be sitting at my desk 10 years from now,” he told me, “trying to be cool and witty, better than the next little brand.” He is trying to tie aNYthing to more projects, with more meaning, to more people: music, books, even a documentary. He has opened an online store on his Web site, where his blog announces the latest parties and offers pictures of the cool people dropping by his store. He traveled to Europe for the summer trade shows there and has been thinking about whether he can open a store in Japan.
But lately he has come to the conclusion that to join the time line of underground movements that left a mark on the culture, he has to figure out how to get aNYthing recognized well beyond Delancey Street. To “cross over,” he said, you need “to make your thing official, to stamp it” — the way rap videos did it for A Bathing Ape in the U.S. or how the brief glimpses of Supreme logos in Larry Clark’s movie “Kids” helped that brand. You need access to the mainstream. He would not even rule out shopping malls, under the right circumstances.
“My whole thing now is if you don’t sell out, you sell out on yourself,” he went on to announce. If he could get the money, the resources, he could go bigger, with more creative projects, reaching more people — and he wouldn’t worry about being called a sellout. He raised his eyebrows for emphasis: “I was cool before this thing happened. It didn’t make me cool.” It’s a line of thought that many cultural rebels come around to, sooner or later. “We’re here,” he told me, “to do business.”
Rob Walker writes the Consumed column for the magazine and is working on a book about consumer behavior.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Monday, 31 July 2006 14:24 (thirteen years ago) link
* Second, there is a philosophical argument, taken from Hegel. Very briefly, Fukuyama sees history as consisting of the dialectic between two classes: the Master and the Slave. Ultimately, this thesis (Master) and antithesis (Slave) must meet in a synthesis, in which both manage to live in peace together. This can only happen in a democracy.
* Finally Fukuyama also argues that for a variety of reasons radical socialism (or communism) is likely to be incompatible with modern representative democracy. Therefore, in the future, democracies are overwhelmingly likely to contain markets of some sort, and most are likely to be capitalist or social democratic.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Monday, 31 July 2006 14:31 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 2 August 2006 20:50 (thirteen years ago) link
* Shocked - 13,900 * Stunned - 10,400 * Outraged - 6,480 * Perplexed - 1,760 * Astonished - 1,500 * Astounded - 872 * Mesmerized - 841 * Mystified - 736 * Aghast - 652 * Dumbfounded - 535 * Befuddled - 513 * Flustered - 510 * Agape - 496 * Perturbed -492 * Flabbergasted - 492 * Mortified - 488 * Bamboozled - 316 * Awe-struck - 262 * Stupefied - 179 * Discombobulated - 49 * Pusillanimous - 45 * Thunderstruck - 40
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 2 August 2006 20:53 (thirteen years ago) link
Among these was a book called Post-Scarcity Anarchism which had a profound early influence on my own political thinking. I was deeply inspired by Bookchin's advocacy of a radical democracy inseparable from sustainability, his advocacy of an ecological consciousness inseparable from a demand for emancipatory technoscience. I drew abiding clarity and confidence from his uncompromising repudiation of corporate-militarist vocabularies of global "development," from his repudiation of uncritical technophobia or nostalgic luddisms, and from his refusal of the facile biological determinism that freights so much of the discourse of technoscientific culture to this day. My own insistence that technoprogressives should never speak of "technological development" but always of "technodevelopmental social struggle" (despite the gawky awkwardness of the phrase) derives ultimately from Bookchin's own insistence that technologies are never politically neutral.
An online archive of works by Bookchin is available here , and I can think of no better tribute to Bookchin than to encourage those who do not know his work already to begin an exploration of his thinking online today.
Here are the opening paragraphs from a piece published in 1969, Toward a Post-Scarcity Society:
The twentieth century is the heir of human history -- the legatee of man's age-old effort to free himself from drudgery and material insecurity. For the first time in the long succession of centuries, this century has elevated mankind to an entirely new level of technological achievement and to an entirely new vision of the human experience.
Technologically, we can now achieve man's historical goal -- a post scarcity society. But socially and culturally, we are mired in the economic relations, institutions, attitudes and values of a barbarous past, of a social heritage created by material scarcity. Despite the potentiality of complete human freedom, we live in the day-to-day reality of material insecurity and a subtle, ever-oppressive system of coercion. We live, above all, in a society of fear, be it of war, repression, or dehumanization. For decades we have lived under the cloud of a thermonuclear war, streaked by the fires of local conflicts in half the continents of the world. We have tried to find our identities in a society that has become ever more centralized and mobilized, dominated by swollen civil, military and industrial bureaucracies. We have tried to adapt to an environment that is becoming increasingly befouled with noxious wastes. We have seen our cities and their governments grow beyond all human comprehension, reducing our very sovereignty as individuals to ant-like proportions -- the manipulated, dehumanized victims of immense administrative engines and political machines. While the spokesmen for this diseased social 'order' piously mouth encomiums to the virtues of 'democracy,' 'freedom' and 'equality,' tens of millions of people are denied their humanity because of racism and are reduced to conditions of virtual enslavement.
Viewed from a purely personal standpoint, we are processed with the same cold indifference through elementary schools, high schools and academic factories that our parents encounter in their places of work. Worse, we are expected to march along the road from adolescence to adulthood, the conscripted, uniformed creatures of a murder machine guided by electronic brains and military morons. As adults, we can expect to be treated with less dignity and identity than cattle: squeezed into underground freight cars, rushed to the spiritual slaughterhouses called 'offices' and 'factories,' and reduced to insensibility by monotonous, often purposeless, work. We will be asked to work to live and live to work -- the mere automata of a system that creates superfluous, if not absurd, needs; that will steep us in debts, anxieties and insecurities; and that, finally, will deliver us to the margins of society, to the human scrapheap called the aged and chronically ill -- desiccated beings, deprived of all vitality and humanity...
The debasement of social life -- all the more terrifying because its irrational, coercive, day-to-day realities stand in such blatant contradiction to its liberatory potentialities -- has no precedent in human history. Never before has man done so little with so much; indeed, never before has man used his resources for such vicious, even catastrophic ends. The tension between 'what-could-be' and 'what-is' reaches its most excruciating proportions in the United States, which occupies the position not only of the most technologically advanced country in the world but also of the 'policeman of the world,' the foremost imperialist power in the world. The United States affords the terrifying spectacle of a country overladen with automobiles and hydrogen bombs; of ranch houses and ghettoes, of immense material superfluity and brutalizing poverty. Its profession of 'democratic' virtue is belied daily by racism, the repression of black and white militants, police terrorism, Vietnam, and the prospect of Vietnams to come.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 6 August 2006 14:18 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 6 August 2006 14:24 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Tuesday, 8 August 2006 02:58 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 10 August 2006 01:56 (thirteen years ago) link
We are persuaded that Virtual reality is now entering, with other emerging technologies, an acceleration phase without bounds. Indeed, VR technology is in a phase similar to that of the Web of the early 90s, where some aficionados were already developing very interesting things with immature technologies, but the mainstream business world had not fully realized the potential of the new technology for "serious" applications.
Serious cognitive capitalism time y'all!
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Friday, 11 August 2006 02:33 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Saturday, 12 August 2006 02:58 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 24 August 2006 01:51 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Friday, 25 August 2006 02:34 (thirteen years ago) link
Modern society has access to highly advanced technology and can make available food, clothing, housing and medical care; update our educational system; and develop a limitless supply of renewable, non-contaminating energy. By supplying an efficiently designed economy, everyone can enjoy a very high standard of living with all of the amenities of a high technological society.
A resource-based economy would utilize existing resources from the land and sea, physical equipment, industrial plants, etc. to enhance the lives of the total population. In an economy based on resources rather than money, we could easily produce all of the necessities of life and provide a high standard of living for all.
Consider the following examples: At the beginning of World War II the US had a mere 600 or so first-class fighting aircraft. We rapidly overcame this short supply by turning out more than 90,000 planes a year. The question at the start of World War II was: Do we have enough funds to produce the required implements of war? The answer was No, we did not have enough money, nor did we have enough gold; but we did have more than enough resources. It was the available resources that enabled the US to achieve the high production and efficiency required to win the war. Unfortunately this is only considered in times of war.
In a resource-based economy all of the world's resources are held as the common heritage of all of Earth's people, thus eventually outgrowing the need for the artificial boundaries that separate people. This is the unifying imperative.
We must emphasize that this approach to global governance has nothing whatever in common with the present aims of an elite to form a world government with themselves and large corporations at the helm, and the vast majority of the world's population subservient to them. Our vision of globalization empowers each and every person on the planet to be the best they can be, not to live in abject subjugation to a corporate governing body.
Our proposals would not only add to the well being of people, but they would also provide the necessary information that would enable them to participate in any area of their competence. The measure of success would be based on the fulfillment of one's individual pursuits rather than the acquisition of wealth, property and power.
At present, we have enough material resources to provide a very high standard of living for all of Earth's inhabitants. Only when population exceeds the carrying capacity of the land do many problems such as greed, crime and violence emerge. By overcoming scarcity, most of the crimes and even the prisons of today's society would no longer be necessary.
A resource-based world economy would also involve all-out efforts to develop new, clean, and renewable sources of energy: geothermal; controlled fusion; solar; photovoltaic; wind, wave, and tidal power; and even fuel from the oceans. We would eventually be able to have energy in unlimited quantity that could propel civilization for thousands of years. A resource-based economy must also be committed to the redesign of our cities, transportation systems, and industrial plants, allowing them to be energy efficient, clean, and conveniently serve the needs of all people.
What else would a resource-based economy mean? Technology intelligently and efficiently applied, conserves energy, reduces waste, and provides more leisure time. With automated inventory on a global scale, we can maintain a balance between production and distribution. Only nutritious and healthy food would be available and planned obsolescence would be unnecessary and non-existent in a resource-based economy.
As we outgrow the need for professions based on the monetary system, for instance lawyers, bankers, insurance agents, marketing and advertising personnel, salespersons, and stockbrokers, a considerable amount of waste will be eliminated. Considerable amounts of energy would also be saved by eliminating the duplication of competitive products such as tools, eating utensils, pots, pans and vacuum cleaners. Choice is good. But instead of hundreds of different manufacturing plants and all the paperwork and personnel required to turn out similar products, only a few of the highest quality would be needed to serve the entire population. Our only shortage is the lack of creative thought and intelligence in ourselves and our elected leaders to solve these problems. The most valuable, untapped resource today is human ingenuity.
With the elimination of debt, the fear of losing one's job will no longer be a threat This assurance, combined with education on how to relate to one another in a much more meaningful way, could considerably reduce both mental and physical stress and leave us free to explore and develop our abilities.
If the thought of eliminating money still troubles you, consider this: If a group of people with gold, diamonds and money were stranded on an island that had no resources such as food, clean air and water, their wealth would be irrelevant to their survival. It is only when resources are scarce that money can be used to control their distribution. One could not, for example, sell the air we breathe or water abundantly flowing down from a mountain stream. Although air and water are valuable, in abundance they cannot be sold.
Money is only important in a society when certain resources for survival must be rationed and the people accept money as an exchange medium for the scarce resources. Money is a social convention, an agreement if you will. It is neither a natural resource nor does it represent one. It is not necessary for survival unless we have been conditioned to accept it as such.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Friday, 25 August 2006 03:00 (thirteen years ago) link
My brother is a patent lawyer and I've spent a countless hours time chatting about ideas to him and investigating the possibility of filing patents on designs and ideas I've had for magnetic nozzles etc. One thing that has suprised me quite a lot is that basically, if you've had a great idea, you can almost bet your life that at least one other person is already onto something very similar or already filed for it. If you revisit the patent office with new ideas regularly, you'll see just how incredibly frequent this is - and how little most people appreciate the repetition of ideas. My brother, as someone who deals with the problems when the ideas cross over, can attest to the similarities and, often, almost insignificant differences between designs claiming to be unique. Not being a particularly religious person, I don't have a lot to comfort myself when it comes to the idea of death. But one of the few things* I do take some kind of strange comfort in is that even after I die, I'm sure there will be people with minds working in a similar pattern to my own. They won't be me, and they won't have exactly the same ideas, but they'll be approximations. My point here is that I think people sometimes over emphasise on each individual being unique in a superior sense. We're each unique, but I think there are a lot more similarities than differences - the motto of the IP guys being "Evolution not revolution!"
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Monday, 11 September 2006 11:53 (thirteen years ago) link
― Andre [URL] as, Wednesday, 13 September 2006 22:35 (thirteen years ago) link
%PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS%PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS%PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS%PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS%PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS%PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS%PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS%PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS%PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS
― Really cool, wickedly cool, cooly cool bon apetit! (ex machina), Tuesday, 19 September 2006 18:31 (thirteen years ago) link
[ The following text is in the "windows-1250" character set. ] [ Your display is set for the "iso-8859-1" character set. ] [ Some special characters may be displayed incorrectly. ][IMAGE]%PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS%PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS%PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS%PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS%PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS%PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS%PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS%PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS%PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS %PROVERBS
* Processes involved utilize the resources available to fulfill social needs rather than those dictated by the market * Cognizance of value of labour and finding ways for its maximum utilization and preservation * Focus is on self-sufficiency and cooperation rather than dependence * Prudent use of resources based on needs rather than over-consumption * Management strategies/systems are based on democratic processes like cooperation and participation rather than on control and decision * Values and ethical principles play an important role in developing the models * Sustenance of the culture, language and customs of the community
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Saturday, 23 September 2006 04:22 (thirteen years ago) link
We're living in a time where more helpful new things tend to become availablealmost like clockwork. But you still have to seek them out, stay up to date, anddecide whether to make use of them as they become available. The strategy of sitback and just "eat healthy" may not be the best idea over the coming years asmore and more powerful techniques become viable. On the other hand of coursewhen it comes to new drugs and therapies, being the very first adopter may alsonot be optimal due to incompletely known risk profiles. Your appetite for theserisks may depend on your age. If I was older I probably would lean more towardsbeing an early first adopter... for now I'm more in the middle of the pack.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 24 September 2006 22:32 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 24 September 2006 22:40 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Monday, 25 September 2006 16:12 (thirteen years ago) link
UntitledAAA Another American Artist — each axis spawns another axis — And — and? a sort of beggar’s testament — typed that’s not me — — whom I know you might consider one of the lightweight artist-intellectuals of our time — perhaps not the most productive) — or especially — Did the flounder flounder — the bass bass? as I am also dissatisfied — in London town — — you have to live with it — practicing in Brooklyn — Finessing the first kiss. For your pleasure — try the Mount Rushmore posture for any longer than 15 years — Seconds ago — — poverty — abjection — — named her — with the sky just pissing over the horizon. — the lad’s skinny legs barely activated for the days ahead, the eyes still red from summer’s lawn chairs — Hello hello. I was lying. — it was nearly voted in — the amendments constructed — and the toxic verticality of its filaments integrated into the country’s fabric — as the moment is digital — — unbothered — — axis thinking — like nation individual — real people — real poems — Well — I thank you — It doesn’t pay to be conservative. it is anti-Wagnerian — in this sense — It opens. Let me warn you: Lust never troubled me. Maybe tomorrow. — and the color’s flawed — — so playing tennis won’t solve much of anything — neither his own nor My lazy glands will ever support me. My sense is that one can find an analogy in poetry Nation is easily placed on the axis of transnation nation — a headache in a ballroom — constant — — the trade of all sophists — — slow tones that surrender themselves finally — in the mist — Or hell — certainly when — “watch me getting fucked every which way” the thin hair of our information Professionals. Politesse with the finger bent. be simply a diagram for memory — — you can replace it if you’d like — Fisher-Price joys now that the idea of the flood has subsided. — so — then — yeah — description falters — they’ll never get anywhere — — speaking among themselves with polysyllabic cardinals and heliocentric ordinals pull the elastic back before such robust confusion More creativity lugged through weasel holes. not tired — governs the lack — though with respect — So few — So said those Pop dudes. Some of this screaming from Tan Dun seems to reflect this impassiveness — cathartic but recorded — Bob Mould — in Cleveland — insensate. — bad gums — Stamping. Standing in the zone. — lyrical — in expanded volumes; this scum records dutifully the you of us and should live. Surprise! — perhaps — speaking — worth nothing. jimmy the lock — vandalize the key — — don’t sing what is well made by Irish — — retract everything — words don’t know these physical boundaries — — as Duchamp famously quipped “dataflow — ” not to anticipate a later critical attitude toward the finished work so much as to maintain the aura (or era) of exploration — you will have no success — so Providence awaits global cellular rates — the number of croutons baking away — bruiser some complicated punctuation — some embryonic female who could make sense of all this. Of course! Tom Stinkmetal is man. Too Much Entropy? DVD — with a razor and beer — — screamed Calibanic fortune-cookies at Studio 54 — — unawares of our zeitgeisty question looming like Woody Allen’s brassiere over the fields with a slurp-slurpy sound (special effects); — though — kemosabee — like some presidential candidate — the beach delivered the body of Malcolm X — waltzing so softly — this action — to be skies edible as text daily to determine it — relax — so long as you are aspiring to love — but as love is inspiring the atmosphere — we’ve turned a corner Usually — borders of Dumbo — Very fine — thank you. Very fine — thank you. — flowing down in predictable cascades for all to see — set out for them With a million things to remember — Wanking — the boy returned to his home not crying larger definition healthy breakfast merely that — and given an “Asian mom” perm. — there clomb a tree barely able to lift the chin — that teething We are both conformists if I understand you correctly. though it sounded like French soufflé fed through a Kaos box — The dullness receding — the gritty matter; to deposit this egg in a brown bag on the reader’s doorstep — — I don’t know how to the “realms” and one more sure argument for literacy amongst those who don’t know — Weeping consolations. — cross-legged — — ratted on products — — quality of printed production — etc. When writing — making the fishbowls round. Posted by Brian Stefans at 11:25 AM
AAA Another American Artist — each axis spawns another axis — And — and? a sort of beggar’s testament — typed that’s not me — — whom I know you might consider one of the lightweight artist-intellectuals of our time — perhaps not the most productive) — or especially — Did the flounder flounder — the bass bass? as I am also dissatisfied — in London town — — you have to live with it — practicing in Brooklyn — Finessing the first kiss. For your pleasure — try the Mount Rushmore posture for any longer than 15 years — Seconds ago — — poverty — abjection — — named her — with the sky just pissing over the horizon. — the lad’s skinny legs barely activated for the days ahead, the eyes still red from summer’s lawn chairs — Hello hello. I was lying. — it was nearly voted in — the amendments constructed — and the toxic verticality of its filaments integrated into the country’s fabric — as the moment is digital — — unbothered — — axis thinking — like nation individual — real people — real poems — Well — I thank you — It doesn’t pay to be conservative.
it is anti-Wagnerian — in this sense — It opens. Let me warn you: Lust never troubled me. Maybe tomorrow. — and the color’s flawed — — so playing tennis won’t solve much of anything — neither his own nor My lazy glands will ever support me. My sense is that one can find an analogy in poetry Nation is easily placed on the axis of transnation nation — a headache in a ballroom — constant — — the trade of all sophists — — slow tones that surrender themselves finally — in the mist — Or hell — certainly when — “watch me getting fucked every which way” the thin hair of our information Professionals. Politesse with the finger bent. be simply a diagram for memory — — you can replace it if you’d like — Fisher-Price joys now that the idea of the flood has subsided.
— so — then — yeah — description falters — they’ll never get anywhere — — speaking among themselves with polysyllabic cardinals and heliocentric ordinals pull the elastic back before such robust confusion More creativity lugged through weasel holes. not tired — governs the lack — though with respect — So few — So said those Pop dudes.
Some of this screaming from Tan Dun seems to reflect this impassiveness — cathartic but recorded — Bob Mould — in Cleveland — insensate. — bad gums — Stamping. Standing in the zone. — lyrical — in expanded volumes; this scum records dutifully the you of us and should live. Surprise! — perhaps — speaking — worth nothing. jimmy the lock — vandalize the key — — don’t sing what is well made by Irish — — retract everything — words don’t know these physical boundaries — — as Duchamp famously quipped “dataflow — ” not to anticipate a later critical attitude toward the finished work so much as to maintain the aura (or era) of exploration — you will have no success — so Providence awaits global cellular rates — the number of croutons baking away — bruiser some complicated punctuation — some embryonic female who could make sense of all this. Of course! Tom Stinkmetal is man. Too Much Entropy? DVD — with a razor and beer — — screamed Calibanic fortune-cookies at Studio 54 — — unawares of our zeitgeisty question looming like Woody Allen’s brassiere over the fields with a slurp-slurpy sound (special effects); — though — kemosabee — like some presidential candidate — the beach delivered the body of Malcolm X — waltzing so softly — this action — to be skies edible as text daily to determine it — relax — so long as you are aspiring to love — but as love is inspiring the atmosphere — we’ve turned a corner Usually — borders of Dumbo — Very fine — thank you. Very fine — thank you. — flowing down in predictable cascades for all to see — set out for them With a million things to remember — Wanking — the boy returned to his home not crying larger definition healthy breakfast merely that — and given an “Asian mom” perm. — there clomb a tree
barely able to lift the chin — that teething We are both conformists if I understand you correctly. though it sounded like French soufflé fed through a Kaos box — The dullness receding — the gritty matter; to deposit this egg in a brown bag on the reader’s doorstep — — I don’t know how to the “realms” and one more sure argument for literacy amongst those who don’t know — Weeping consolations. — cross-legged — — ratted on products — — quality of printed production — etc. When writing — making the fishbowls round. Posted by Brian Stefans at 11:25 AM
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Sunday, 1 October 2006 23:17 (thirteen years ago) link
― asdfa, Tuesday, 3 October 2006 18:59 (thirteen years ago) link
at stake is the cultural excreta, the better part of a chipotle burrito along with a few undigested kernels of corn (sub-cultural waste), a reminder of past glories. in the same sense, much of what the barbarians find will be looted, raped, or destroyed. it's not a happy matter, nor a sad one, it's a biological process. people eat and shit everyday. several languages die every year. the loss of ones cultural heritage is an ongoing biological process. with every defecation, every urination, we expel more of the mother's milk, the metric of the authenticity of one's own identity. we transform our physical identity with food.
― roc u like a § (ex machina), Thursday, 5 October 2006 18:34 (thirteen years ago) link
― and what (ooo), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 02:51 (thirteen years ago) link
| /￣￣ why hello there. you see that
|⌒彡 ／ some html tags are not saved on the first submission:
|冫、）＜ the post need to be edited + tags needs to be written again.
|` ／ ＼ out of curiosity plz 2 post it again using the pre tag.
| / ＼＿ then I'll clean it up!
― and what (ooo), Tuesday, 10 October 2006 02:53 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 12 October 2006 14:47 (thirteen years ago) link
The mind is inherently embodied.Thought is mostly unconscious.Abstract concepts are largely metaphorical.(Lakoff and Johnson, 1999, p. 3)
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 12 October 2006 14:54 (thirteen years ago) link
*Please Note: Archive articles do not include photos, charts or graphics. More information.August 15, 2004, SundayBy DULCIE LEIMBACH (NYT); TelevisionLate Edition - Final, Section 13, Page 55, Column 1, 602 words
DISPLAYING ABSTRACT - WITH his arched brows and doo-wop hair, Robbie Rotten presents a stark contrast to Stephanie, an all-in-pink 8-year-old aspiring dancer who recently moved to LazyTown. In this fictional village -- the setting of the new Nickelodeon series ''LazyTown'' -- adults like to lounge, but children are full of energy, ...
To read this archive article, upgrade to TimesSelect or purchase as a single article.
― roc u like a § (ex machina), Tuesday, 17 October 2006 21:18 (thirteen years ago) link
No-one knows whose friend he is,He's always there,He's the big man restless, like forty indians.I'm in the third group,we push for humour,We're so relentless, like forty indians.
ChorusThe legal quarter of tight-lipped menPushed for orderAnd repeat againAnyway, the lot regarding the funny manThe big man restlessAre so relentlessThey scratched aboutAnd like forty indiansThe lot turn on the funny man,The big man restless
And what can he say
If the sun's all gone and we're wafer thinAnd we could scratch around in our so frail skinYou could sayYou could say
No flags in here, no cause to wave,Just the slow, slow scratch in the final caveYou could sayYou could say
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 17:37 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Friday, 20 October 2006 18:51 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 25 October 2006 04:45 (thirteen years ago) link
Computer engineer man, a researcher for the anarchist studies group., isworking on just such a mechanism. He's trying to devise what amounts toa digital diary, a searchable database that contains digitized versionsof nearly everything in his life
There are two parts to the project. The first is the experiment withlife storage -- capturing his papers, faxes, phone calls, photographsand home movies in digitalized form. The second part focuses ondeveloping software that would support this type of lifetime library onanyone's computer.
"The quest is to essentially build a surrogate memory. Something that'sas good as my own memory, that I can use it as a supplement, and willremember everything that I should have remembered, that came to my ears,eyes, whatever," man said of his experiment.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 25 October 2006 04:56 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Friday, 27 October 2006 02:44 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Friday, 27 October 2006 17:22 (thirteen years ago) link
With its combination of expertise in computer science, brain sciences, and management, anarchism studies group is uniquely suited to address this question. We hope this work will lead to new scientific understanding in a variety of disciplines and practical advances in many areas of community based production and self-management. multipotent': 'multipot', 'multitude': 'multitud', 'multitudes': 'multitud', 'multitudinous': 'multitudin',
Global multi_mode; ! Multiple mode Global multi_wanted; ! Number of things needed in multitude Global multi_had; ! Number of things actually found
multitube multitubes multitude multitudes multiuse multiuser multiusers
The noise of a multitude in the * mountains, like as of a great people; a
RHIZOIDS RHIZOMES RHIZOMIC
rhizoma rhizome rhizomes rhizophora
rhizomatous r-Azamxtx-s >>0>12>1
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Monday, 30 October 2006 14:07 (thirteen years ago) link
rhizome r-Azom- >>1>2<< 0
rhodium r-odixm >>1<00< 0
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Monday, 30 October 2006 14:12 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 2 November 2006 16:53 (thirteen years ago) link
Kristi L. Swope(1,2), Paul Bieganski(2), Ed Chi(2), Elizabeth Shoop(2), Olaf Holt(2), John Carlis(2), John Riedl(2), Thomas Newman(3) and Ernest F. Retzel(1)
(1)Medical School and (2)Department of Computer Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN;(3)DOE Plant Research Laboratory, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Pattern #2 is described by the sequence:
It selects for conservation of those base pairs in the lox-P site believed to be contact points for the Cre enzyme (underlined bases in the sequence ATAACTTCGTATA ATGTATGC TATACGAAGTTAT). This pattern is augmented by a mismatch parameter that allows up to 5 mismatches to be tolerated.
Pattern #3 is described by the sequence:
It ensures that the TATA motif surrounding the core 8-bp spacer region is present. This pattern is augmented by a mismatch parameter that ensures no mismatches are tolerated.
A web service called Fuzznuc-Comparator was developed that compares the output from two fuzznuc processes and outputs only those sequences present in both. When the result of the comparison contains more than one sequence the Fuzznuc-Comparator tool performs a pairwise alignment of the core 8-bp spacer regions. The output file format consists of the result of the pairwise comparison (if any) followed by those sequences present in both input files (in fuzznuc’s seqtable format).
To isolate those sequences that match all three patterns two comparisons are required. First, a Fuzznuc-Comparator process is used to isolate those sequences that match patterns 1 & 2. A fileDivider process splits the output content and outputs only the fuzznuc seqtable section. Second, a Fuzznuc-Comparator process compares the output from the fileDivider process with those sequences that match pattern #3. The final step in the workflow is to write those sequences that match all three patterns to file.Mouse genome-wide map of cryptic loxp sitesThe power and flexibility of Motif Explorer is endless! There are a few basic conventions that you need to learn, and then simply let your imagination soar. Some of the conventions are based on PROSITE (Bairoch, 1995). First and foremost, the standard IUPAC one-letter codes for amino acids and nucleotides are used to designate residues and bases, respectively, with "x" standing for any amino acid (or base). Different shaped brackets have different meaning. For example, square brackets mean "accept any amino acid (or base) listed", and curly brackets mean "accept any amino acid (or base) except those listed". Also, parenthesis are used to designate a numerical value or range. Therefore, a search on
― roc u like a § (ex machina), Friday, 3 November 2006 03:24 (thirteen years ago) link
cannot function without an active network connection
may or may not be interactive
may or may not be accessible on-line
reflects contemporary culture
cannot function without electricity
is not virtual
is not dependent upon The World Wide Web
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 8 November 2006 22:59 (thirteen years ago) link
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Wednesday, 15 November 2006 17:28 (thirteen years ago) link
This idea is familiar within transhumanist and cryonics groups. It ismentioned in fiction; Joe Halpern, Greg Egan, Linda Nigata come to mind.There is also Tipler's version of the "Omega Point" where everyone whoever lived could be effectively reconstituted via latent information andnear-infinite computational power. I recall Robert Bradbury (on thislist) and John Smart in the last year talking about how personalitycapture might be valuable to the survivors, if not for the deceased.
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Friday, 17 November 2006 03:52 (thirteen years ago) link
Making a living as someone with artistic talents of one sort or another is neither harder nor easier than making a living based on any other personal inclinations, save that one has to be competent, of course. Innovating in art is like innovating in any field -- acceptable if one's workmates agree on its merits and if the participatory plan find the workplace as a whole to be socially valuable.
--f you think that there is something called art which entitles something called an artist to live a life free of responsibility to the community, free of responsibility to co-workers, and remunerated at a rate above and beyond others, then parecon art will be a horror to your vision.
If you think that people doing art, like all other people, should contribute to the community and be supported for their socially valued labors, and that their endeavors should arise from their termperments and tastes, not from imposition by elites, parecon art will be a delight for you to behold.--
― S. (Sébastien Chikara), Thursday, 23 November 2006 05:21 (thirteen years ago) link
― Sébastien, Monday, 26 March 2007 23:11 (twelve years ago) link
― Catsupppppppppppppp dude 茄蕃, Tuesday, 27 March 2007 20:02 (twelve years ago) link
― Sébastien, Tuesday, 27 March 2007 20:53 (twelve years ago) link
― Catsupppppppppppppp dude 茄蕃, Tuesday, 27 March 2007 20:56 (twelve years ago) link
― Sébastien, Friday, 30 March 2007 21:39 (twelve years ago) link
― Sébastien, Saturday, 31 March 2007 01:44 (twelve years ago) link
― Sébastien, Tuesday, 3 April 2007 13:10 (twelve years ago) link
― Lingbert, Wednesday, 4 April 2007 05:43 (twelve years ago) link
― Sébastien, Tuesday, 10 April 2007 02:29 (twelve years ago) link
― Sébastien, Sunday, 15 April 2007 04:51 (twelve years ago) link
― Sébastien, Monday, 30 April 2007 17:22 (twelve years ago) link
― Sébastien, Friday, 11 May 2007 13:02 (twelve years ago) link
― Sébastien, Saturday, 12 May 2007 13:22 (twelve years ago) link
― Sébastien, Saturday, 12 May 2007 14:32 (twelve years ago) link
"They were famous pictures: Death on a Bicycle, Death Visits the
Amusement Park.... They'd been a fad in the 2050s, at the time of the
longevity breakthrough, when people realized that but for accidents
and violence, they could live forever. Death was suddenly a pleasant
old man, freed from his longtime burden. He rolled awkwardly along on
his first bicycle ride, his scythe sticking up like a flag. Children
ran beside him, smiling and laughing."
(Vernor Vinge, Marooned in Realtime)
― Sébastien, Friday, 1 June 2007 21:41 (twelve years ago) link
Nature, through the trial and error of evolution, has discovered a
vast diversity of life from what can only presumed to have been a primordial
pool of building blocks. Inspired by this success, (...) is now trying to mimic
the process of Darwinian evolution in the laboratory by evolving new proteins
from scratch. Using new tricks of molecular biology, (...) have evolved several
new proteins in a fraction of the 3 billion years it took nature. Their most
recent results, (...) have led to some surprisingly new lessons on how to
optimize proteins which have never existed in nature before, (...).
― Sébastien, Saturday, 16 June 2007 05:06 (twelve years ago) link
― 597, Saturday, 30 June 2007 13:45 (twelve years ago) link
"Inert molecules from your cells! Chemical medicines won't reach that stuff, but the teleportation booth' does. It takes just those dead molecules and does the instant-elsewhere trick with them. Just the stuff that builds up over ninety years of life. See it now?"
"I don't feel any different," she said uncertainly.
"You should. I did. It was like I'd caught my second wind. Of course I was moving at a dead run. It's nothing obvious. What did you expect? In a couple of days you'll find dark roots in your hair."
― Sébastien, Sunday, 8 July 2007 22:56 (twelve years ago) link
1. Advocating permaculture (resilient sustainability) -- we should be subsidizing research and practices of agroforestry, polyculture, organic and local agricultures, defending seed saving and seed sharing as basic human rights, regulating nonselective pesticide and high-energy-input, especially petrochemical fertilizer use, encouraging vegetarian, organic, local-food lifeways through accurate nutrition labeling, special taxes on food-corpses and highly salty, fatty, sugary processed foods, incentivizing climate-appropriate and edible landscaping, supporting organic, heirloom, and superorganic cultivation, vastly expanding research and development and infrastructure investment into p2p renewable energy-provision like decentralized solar grids and co-op windmill farms, energy-efficient appliances, desalination techniques, sustainable irrigation practices and biomimetic urban sewage treatment techniques, as well as passenger rail infrastructure across the world and facilitating non-automobile transportation in cities (free or small-fee distributed bike co-ops, for example, and transforming more urban car-lanes into pedestrian malls) -- increasing public awareness of and encouraging collective problem solving in the face of energy descent, overurbanization, species loss, extractive industrial depletion of topsoil and aquifers, toxicity of materials and industrial processes, waste/pollution, catastrophic human-caused climate change, and so on.
2. Advocating p2p (peer-to-peer formations) and a2k (access to knowledge) -- we should be strongly supporting net neutrality, institutionalizing creative commons, subsidizing personal blogging and peer credentialization/production practices, radically restricting global copyright scope and terms, expanding fair use provisions, providing public grants for noncommercial nonproprietary scientific research and access to creative expressivity and public performances, opening access to research and debate in science and the humanities, experimenting with science and public policy juries and networked townhalls, facilitating accessibility of information for differently enabled people (blind, partially blind, deaf, etc.), securing open knowledge transfer to people of the overexploited regions of the world, demanding transparency from authoritative institutions, especially governments, limited liability corporations, public universities, organizations funded by public resources or engaged in public services, strongly opposing institutional secrecy, especially corporatist proprietary secrets or militarist state secrets, ensuring universal free access to networked media, free reliable wifi, supporting community and minority-run radio, demanding corporate media disaggregation, facilitating small campaign donor aggregation and restricting other forms of patronage/lobbying/conflict-of-interest for elected representatives and professional appointees to public service, making access to education universal and free from pre-kindergarten through college, enacting strong whistleblower protections for public officials and corporate employees, introducing labeling standards to distinguish advertising, advocacy, journalism, and strengthening protections for consumers from fraudulent claims, and so on.
3. Advocating prosthetic self-determination (Pro Choice) -- we should be defending absolutely every woman's right to choose safe, free, accessible abortion techniques to end unwanted pregnancies, as well as facilitating wanted pregnancies with alternate reproductive techniques, legalizing and then taxing all informed, nonduressed consensual recreational drug use, redirecting public resources to policing actually dangerous or disorderly public conduct, regulating controlled substances for unnecessary harm, and expanding public education and drug rehabilitation programs, vastly expanding public research into genetic, prosthetic, and cognitive modification medicine, defending individuals and communities with atypical capacities and morphologies, expanding access (while prohibiting compulsory recourse) both to consensual medical and modification therapies as well as to reliable information about them, providing universal single-payer basic healthcare, planet-wide provision of safe water and nutritious food, and subsidizing access to all wanted therapies that meet basic threshold safety and transparency standards with a stakeholder grant for non-normalizing modifications in exchange for open access to clinical trial data associated with all experimental procedures.
4. Advocating BIG (basic income guarantees) -- we should be providing a universal, non means-tested basic guaranteed income to every person on earth as a foundational right of human civilization, not only to complete the traditional progressive project of ending slavery (including still existing wage slavery) and ending military conscription (including still existing conscription through the duress of the vulnerable, through poverty, illiteracy, stigmatized lifeways, and precarious legal status), and supporting collective bargaining (by providing a permanent strike fund for all workers) -- but also to combat contemporary and emerging and conspicuously amplifying forms of technodevelopmental abjection in particular: for example, current confiscatory wealth concentration through automation, outsourcing, and crowdsourcing; protecting vulnerable populations from duress to ensure all experimental medical decisions are truly consensual; and to champion p2p democracy by subsidizing the practices of true citizen participation, peer production of appropriate and appropriable technologies, and free open secular multiculture.
5. Advocating the democratization of global governance (democratic world federalism) -- the institutions of global governance already exists, of course, but in catastrophically non-democratic corporate-militarist forms that are destroying the world, and so the fight for democratic world federalist governance is not properly dismissed as a fanciful or dreadful desire for some ex nihilo planetary state, but in reality the fight to smash the corporate-militarist world state that actually exists and to democratize it as and for the people, peer-to-peer (in democracies, properly so-called, government is the people, and so to express hatred of government is to express hatred of the people and such slogans should be understood with that in mind), all in the face of unprecedented planetary problems and the unprecedented planetary consciousness created by global networked participation and in the light of our emerging awareness of global ecologic and economic interdependence -- and it doesn't matter to me whether this smashing of the state and democratization of global governance is implemented through the expansion and democratic reform of the United Nations, or through the creation of alternate or supplementary planetary institutions, many pathways will present themselves to do this work -- but it will likely take a federal form, encompassing already existing formations, a form emphasizing subsidiarity (which is a principle directing governance always to the most local layer adequate to a shared problem), and protecting planetary secular multiculture, and directed to the tasks of monitoring global storms, pandemics, weapons, enforcing global environmental, labor, police/military conduct standards, providing institutional recourse for the nonviolent resolution of interpersonal and intergovernmental disputes, and facilitating the universal scene of legible, informed, nonduressed consent.
― Sébastien, Tuesday, 20 November 2007 02:25 (twelve years ago) link
My guess is that in the long-term there will be pressure to leave the earth to its unpredictable weather patterns. Most people will live in reclaimed environments, e.g., space stations or tera-formed planets. These artificial environments may have a random element introduced into their weather patterns, but they probably won't have the retro feel of earth. I think I like the idea of people visiting the earth only as we might visit a national park. There would be no or few permanent residents. Rather we might stay a few days and try not to leave to big a footprint and then return to our tamed environments in space
― Sébastien, Tuesday, 20 November 2007 10:38 (twelve years ago) link
LifeNet project: volunteer network that goes where-ever there are firestations and police stations. The goal is to minimize the amount of time to reach anybody who dies on the continent within 30 minutes and to cryogenically store them (they are already "dead": they might never know). Calculations show that there would need to be at least 150k locations and that there is one death every 14 hours per 50 km^2 average in USA.
― Sébastien, Wednesday, 21 November 2007 15:29 (twelve years ago) link
― Crêpe, Thursday, 6 December 2007 03:15 (twelve years ago) link
I associate "intense" with bearded college-sophomore hippie dudes who say "deep" stuff about energy and the universe and make too much eye contact and then 18-year-old girls who just showed up from Midwestern high schools are like "that guy was so intense"
Sebastien Chikara is "intense," see?
lul, energy? then I thought :
"On October 10, 2007, leading space advocacy organizations and Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin will announce the formation of a new alliance to "ensure that the benefits of renewable clean energy from space solar power are understood and supported by business, governments and the general public," according to an alliance statement.
The inaugural event of the new alliance, to be held at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. at 9:00 am, will highlight a study underway by the National Security Space Office (NSSO) on the viability of space-based solar power, presented by Lt. Col. Paul Damphousse, National Security Space Office. John Mankins, President, SUNSAT Energy Council, a leading expert on space solar power, will also speak.
According to the organizers, media and Congressional staff who wish to attend can email Katherine Brick at kather✧✧✧.br✧✧✧@n✧✧.o✧✧.
Space solar power refers to gathering energy in space and transmitting it wirelessly for use on Earth. This technology could be a major solution to humanity's long-term energy needs, providing limitless renewable power with zero carbon emissions, according to Mankins and other experts."
― Sébastien, Saturday, 15 December 2007 16:42 (twelve years ago) link
If it succeeds, Microsoft's planned parallel-computing software, designed to take advantage of new manycore chips -- processors with more than eight cores, possible as soon as 2010 -- could bring as much as a hundredfold computing speed-up in solving some problems.
Likely to be timed to the arrival of "Windows 7," it would allow even hand-held devices to see, listen, speak and make complex real-world decisions -- in the process, transforming computers from tools into companions.
― Sébastien, Wednesday, 19 December 2007 15:53 (twelve years ago) link
That was a good thread.
― baaderonixx, Wednesday, 16 January 2008 11:39 (twelve years ago) link
Are there any political philosophers you consider to be science
fictional? I'm thinking of how Karl Marx talks a lot about things
happening in his future Utopia - fishing in the afternoon and
philosophizing in the evening and all that. But there's obviously a lot
of these sorts of speculations going on in any political philosophy that
cares about the future. Any political theory or theorist in particular
that you find compelling as SF?
Actually, Marx talks very little about future society. Even that famous
quote comes from an unpublished work. Marx's most science-fictional
vision is of 'the automatic factory' - for Marx, reducing the amount of
time spent in boring, unfulfilling work is the basis for human freedom.
Freedom begins when the working day ends. It's all very current and it's
all right there in Capital. I've speculated elsewhere that Marx's
approach to society - look at what's emerging, look at the technology,
look at the underlying conflicts that these bring out - may have in some
vulgarised form actually inspired the emergence of science fiction
itself. Science fiction is an adventure playground in the materialist
conception of history.
― Sébastien, Friday, 18 January 2008 05:08 (twelve years ago) link
After he disappeared she'd go to the park they met at years ago, sit and watch the couples go by and wait for his return. Sometimes she'd dressin what she'd been wearing on that day. Sometimes try a different bench or a different direction in the hot sun in Khartoum. She'd look for his smile in angry crowds, in indifferent strangers exiting restaurants down small side streets with anagram names, and it would still be boiling hot when she'd return home and flush his cold dinner down the toilet. And after a while people stopped noticing her. They stopped paying attention. They stopped shaking their heads, saying, "He's never coming back you know." "No, he's never coming back."
― Catsupppppppppppppp dude 茄蕃, Tuesday, 22 January 2008 08:49 (twelve years ago) link
On the galactic setting where the Culture exists:
The galaxy (our galaxy) in the Culture stories is a place long
lived-in, and scattered with a variety of life-forms. In its vast and
complicated history it has seen waves of empires, federations,
colonisations, die-backs, wars, species-specific dark ages,
renaissances, periods of mega-structure building and destruction, and
whole ages of benign indifference and malign neglect. At the time of the
Culture stories, there are perhaps a few dozen major space-faring
civilisations, hundreds of minor ones, tens of thousands of species who
might develop space-travel, and an uncountable number who have been
there, done that, and have either gone into locatable but insular
retreats to contemplate who-knows-what, or disappeared from the normal
universe altogether to cultivate lives even less comprehensible.
On the ships and their Minds:
Culture starships - that is all classes of ship above
inter-planetary - are sentient; their Minds (sophisticated AIs working
largely in hyperspace to take advantage of the higher lightspeed there)
bear the same relation to the fabric of the ship as a human brain does
to the human body . . . The Culture's largest vessels - apart from
certain art-works and a few Eccentrics - are the General Systems
Vehicles of the Contact section. (Contact is the part of the Culture
concerned with discovering, cataloguing, investigating, evaluating and -
if thought prudent - interacting with other civilisations; its rationale
and activities are covered elsewhere, in the stories.) The GSVs are fast
and very large craft, measured in kilometres and inhabited by millions
of people and machines. The idea behind them is that they represent the
Culture, fully. All that the Culture knows, each GSV knows; anything
that can be done anywhere in the Culture can be done within or by any
GSV. In terms of both information and technology, they represent a last
resort, and act like holographic fragments of the Culture itself, the
whole contained within each part.
The Culture doesn't actually have laws; there are, of course,
agreed-on forms of behaviour; manners, as mentioned above, but nothing
that we would recognise as a legal framework. Not being spoken to, not
being invited to parties, finding sarcastic anonymous articles and
stories about yourself in the information network; these are the normal
forms of manner-enforcement in the Culture.
Politics in the Culture consists of referenda on issues whenever
they are raised; generally, anyone may propose a ballot on any issue at
any time; all citizens have one vote. Where issues concern some
sub-division or part of a total habitat, all those - human and machine -
who may reasonably claim to be affected by the outcome of a poll may
cast a vote. Opinions are expressed and positions on issues outlined
mostly via the information network (freely available, naturally), and it
is here that an individual may exercise the most personal influence,
given that the decisions reached as a result of those votes are usually
implemented and monitored through a Hub or other supervisory machine,
with humans acting (usually on a rota basis) more as liaison officers
than in any sort of decision-making executive capacity; one of the few
rules the Culture adheres to with any exactitude at all is that a
person's access to power should be in inverse proportion to their desire
On why most people in the Culture live in Orbitals:
The attraction of Orbitals is their matter efficiency. For one
planet the size of Earth (population 6 billion at the moment; mass
6x1024 kg), it would be possible, using the same amount of matter, to
build 1,500 full orbitals, each one boasting a surface area twenty times
that of Earth and eventually holding a maximum population of perhaps 50
billion people (the Culture would regard Earth at present as
over-crowded by a factor of about two, though it would consider the
land-to-water ratio about right). Not, of course, that the Culture would
do anything as delinquent as actually deconstructing a planet to make
Orbitals; simply removing the sort of wandering debris (for example
comets and asteroids) which the average solar system comes equipped with
and which would threaten such an artificial world's integrity through
collision almost always in itself provides sufficient material for the
construction of at least one full Orbital (a trade-off whose
conservatory elegance is almost blissfully appealing to the average
Mind), while interstellar matter in the form of dust clouds, brown
dwarfs and the like provides more distant mining sites from which the
amount of mass required for several complete Orbitals may be removed
with negligible effect.
― Sébastien, Wednesday, 13 February 2008 18:39 (twelve years ago) link
1. Declare the internet a public good in the same way we think of water, electricity, highways or public education.
2. Commit to providing affordable high-speed wireless Internet access nationwide.
3. Declare a “Net Neutrality” standard forbidding Internet service providers from discriminating among content based on origin, application or type.
4. Instead of “No Child Left Behind,” our goal should be “Every Child Connected.”
5. Commit to building a Connected Democracy where it becomes commonplace for local as well as national government proceedings to be heard by anyone any time and over time.
6. Create a National Tech Corps, because as our country becomes more reliant on 21st century communications to maintain and build our economy we need to protect our communications infrastructure.
We've spent some time looking through the candidates' policy statements on technology, the media, education, transparency and infrastructure
― Sébastien, Wednesday, 13 February 2008 18:40 (twelve years ago) link
to connect p2p/a2k
(peer-to-peer/access to knowledge) technoscience politics to the
politics of permaculture practices and to the politics of pro-choice
consensual non-normalizing biomedicine.
― Sébastien, Thursday, 19 June 2008 04:54 (eleven years ago) link
The terraces, forming an outdoor terrain that extends over the whole surface of the city
― Sébastien, Sunday, 20 July 2008 04:10 (eleven years ago) link
― gzip, Friday, 25 July 2008 10:08 (eleven years ago) link
― Sébastien, Saturday, 26 July 2008 03:14 (eleven years ago) link
― ╬☉д⊙, Saturday, 4 October 2008 00:15 (eleven years ago) link
good clear picture of [CapitalistMan]http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/148/imgadz.gif
― Sébastien, Monday, 7 December 2009 07:14 (ten years ago) link
a a a a a a a a melody got me a a a a a a a a melody got me a a a melody got me are we are we melody got me are are melody got me don don a dont dont melody got me dont e a a dont e dont ev melody got me dont eve dont even dont even worryabout a thing
about a thing
― plaxico (I know, right?), Monday, 15 February 2010 20:44 (ten years ago) link
The ideal for a book would be to lay everything out on a plane of exteriority of this kind, on a single page, the same sheet: lived events, historical determinations, concepts, individuals, groups, social formations.
― Sébastien, Wednesday, 27 April 2011 01:38 (eight years ago) link
What is Codework?
It exists precisely in the obdurate interstice between the real and the symbolic. It exists in the arrow.
It is not a set of procedures or perceptions. It is the noise in the system. It is not the encapsulation or object of the noise or the system.
When it becomes metaphor, masterpiece, artwork, it is still-born; it is of no interest except as cultural residue: it is of great interest to critics, gallerists, editors.
When it is not collectible, not a thing, virtual or otherwise, it is not of interest to critics, gallerists, editors.
This is nothing more than the continuous reification, territorialization, conquest, of the real - as if the real were always already cleansed, available for the taking - as if the real were already transformed into capital.
Capital is the encapsulation, objectification, of code. Capital drives the code-conference, the code-book, the code-movement, the code-artist, the code-masterpiece; capital drives the technology.
Codework is demonstrative, demonstrative fragment, experiment, partial- inscription, partial-object, the thing prior to its presentation, the linguistic kernel of the pre-linguistic. Code is the thetic, the gestural, of the demonstrative.
It the gesture that never quite takes. It is the noise inherent in the gestural.
However: Codework will become a subject or a sub-genre or a venue or an artwork or an artist or a dealer or a collector. However: This is not codework, or: What I describe above is not codework; after all, names are subsumed beneath the sign (Emblematic) of capital - as if something is being accomplished. (Hackers who are not hackers are unhacked.)
To code is not to produce codework; it is to produce code on the level of the code or interface. Bridged code, embedded code, is not codework; the irreversible spew of cellular automata is codework, all the better if the rules are noisy. The cultural production of codework abjures intensifications, strange attractors, descriptions such as this (which is the oldest game in the book). The hunt and reception of short-wave number codes is codework. Writers on the edge are circumscribed by codework, malfunctioned psychoanalytics, scatologies. Jews, Gypsies, Gays, Blacks, are endlessly coded and decoded; the codes are dissolute, partial, always already incomplete: the differend is codework.
To speak against the differend is codework; tumors are codework, metastases. The useless sequences of DNA, RNA.
Be wary of the violence of the legible text. Beware the metaphor which institutionalizes, the text which defines, the text of positivities, not negations, the circumscribing text, inscribing text; beware of the producers and institutions of these texts, whose stake is in hardening of definitions, control, capital, slaughter: Texts slaughter.
And texts slaughter texts.NavigationHome Projects cyhist KnowledgeBase Syllabus Archive Plaintext Tools About the CLCLog inNamePasswordForgot your password?New user?
― Sébastien, Sunday, 15 May 2011 01:03 (eight years ago) link
We want to save the Earth's biosphere, settle the oceans and space, end hunger and poverty, utilize alternative sources of energy, bring about a better democracy and economy to the world, and generally provide a standard of living and quality of life far beyond anything mankind has ever experienced. http://www.luf.org/
--The Millennial Project 2.0
The Millennial Project is a comprehensive plan for space development, beginning with the terrestrial cultivation of an environmentally sustainable civilization and Post-Industrial culture and culminating, far in the future, in the colonization of our immediate stellar neighborhood. The TMP2 project is specifically a project of the Living Universe Foundation community to continually update and revise the content of the original plan as described by Marshal T. Savage in his book The Millennial Project.
--At The Seasteading Institute, we work to enable seasteading communities - floating cities - which will allow the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for government. The most successful can then inspire change in governments around the world.
--OSCOMAK supports playful learning communities of individuals and groupschaordically building free and open source knowledge, tools, and simulationswhich lay the groundwork for humanity's sustainable development on Spaceship Earth andeventual joyful, compassionate, and diverse expansion into space(including Mars, the Moon, the Asteroids, or elsewhere in the Universe).--
― Sébastien, Thursday, 30 June 2011 01:47 (eight years ago) link
The Open Source Ecology wiki,home of the Global Village Construction Set,developing community-based solutions for re-inventing local production.
RepRap is about making self-replicating machines, and making them freely available for the benefit of everyone. We are using 3D printing to do this, but if you have other technologies that can copy themselves and that can be made freely available to all, then this is the place for you too.
― Sébastien, Thursday, 30 June 2011 02:12 (eight years ago) link
My friend, I have no problem with the thought of a galactic civilization vastly unlike our own... full of strange beings who look nothing like me even in their own imaginations... pursuing pleasures and experiences I can't begin to empathize with... trading in a marketplace of unimaginable goods... allying to pursue incomprehensible objectives... people whose life-stories I could never understand.
― Sébastien, Thursday, 30 June 2011 23:56 (eight years ago) link
>/ 50 don't make no money. U gotta side with the jews. [ Cut to a room, fancy hotel, Gerber-blanc & mauve. A contemporary is in the game for billions. ]
[Credits] digital on Gabbapention[ A ball. ]
― Parade (a you), Friday, 1 July 2011 00:01 (eight years ago) link
― test 2, Thursday, 7 July 2011 02:09 (eight years ago) link
clashes [...] between careerism as a means of actualizing and subverting the self, establish the voice of creativity as a vulnerable protagonist that is taken under fire by the chaos.
― Sébastien, Thursday, 7 July 2011 15:24 (eight years ago) link
actualizing an imagined scroll of the Cyrenaic school, a dialog at the wake of Aristippus of Cyrene.
― Sébastien, Saturday, 16 July 2011 17:25 (eight years ago) link
Never mind humanist, postmodernism may well be the last cultural movement that's 100% human.
You may laugh at this prediction now, but you won't laugh in 2012: the point at which postmodernism turns into posthumanism is the moment when Arnold Schwartzenegger becomes president of the US. That's the point at which the pomo fight between the authentic and the fake morphs into the posthuman fight between flesh and digital flesh.
― Momus (Momus), Saturday, 30 October 2004 07:05 (8 years ago) PermalinkWhat I mean is that he will be elected to 'terminate' Islamic fundamentalism, a dialectic that will by that point be a bit tired, but that he will actually be the first 'terminator president', and herald in an age of unprecedented man-machine combination.
― Momus (Momus), Saturday, 30 October 2004 07:09 (8 years ago) PermalinkAnd if you ask me what will the cultural life be like in that new posthuman world, I'd say that, just as there as continuities between modernism and postmodernism, so there will be continuities between the postmodern and the posthuman. The rockist questions about authenticity will not go away -- in fact, they'll become, if anything, more central. But with a twist: it will be the clones and machines which will harp on most on authenticity and humanity, whereas the humans will insist on artificiality. The future (and you read it here first, folks!) is Robot Rockism.
― Momus (Momus), Saturday, 30 October 2004 07:46 (8 years ago) Permalink
― Sébastien, Monday, 27 May 2013 01:09 (six years ago) link
― am0n, Tuesday, 11 June 2013 20:47 (six years ago) link
― ttyih boi (crüt), Wednesday, 12 June 2013 03:08 (six years ago) link